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Helping Kids With Big Dreams

Guest Blogger 5/31/2016
Guest Blogger

Ariana Trujillo (center) celebrates her election as 69th Youth Governor

Less than three years ago, Ariana Trujillo arrived in California. Ariana and her family were fleeing Venezuela’s political and economic turmoil following the end of the Hugo Chavez regime. Ariana became a student at North Hollywood High’s School for Advanced Studies and joined the California YMCA Youth & Government Program through the East Valley Family YMCA in 2014.

“Considering the type of political stress I had been going through my whole life, I have developed a passion for getting involved with my government and trying to find my voice within it,” explains Ariana, who will be a senior this upcoming school year. “I figured Youth & Government was the perfect opportunity for me to do so.”

Ariana’s passion motivated her to make the ambitious decision to run for Youth Governor. This past February in Sacramento, Ariana was elected the 69th Youth Governor by the 3,500 delegates to the Model Legislature and Court. She adds, “I know the program will continue to inspire young people like me, kids that feel lost, kids that haven’t always had the easiest of lives, kids with big dreams that just need a push to know they can achieve those dreams.”

youth_in_govtIn the 1970s, a young man graduated from high school and completed his participation as a delegate of the Youth & Government program. After college and law school, he began a career in public service, eventually becoming a Sacramento City Councilman, State Assemblyman and California State Senator. In 2008, Darrell Steinberg became the President Pro Tem of the California Senate. He has never forgotten what he gained from the Youth & Government program and has enthusiastically supported the program throughout the last 40 years, serving on the organization’s Legislative Advisory Council. Senator Steinberg has frequently addressed the Y&G delegates, encouraging each of them to fulfill their dreams and strive for a brighter future.

Can we help make more big dreams come true? On Friday, June 17, 2016 the California YMCA will officially inaugurate Ariana Trujillo as the 69th Youth Governor and honor Senator Darrell Steinberg for his many years of support and dedication to the Youth & Government program. The Inaugural Ball and Tribute Gala will be held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento. Keenan is proud to be a Y&G sponsor and we are excited to be attending! If you’d like more information about this event, or want to learn how to support young people through the Youth & Government program, please visit



sam_blog_bioAbout Tim Crawford
Tim Crawford is Vice President, Marketing for Keenan and has served on the Board of Directors for California YMCA Youth & Government for six years. Keenan is the Presenting Sponsor of Youth & Government’s Model United Nations Summit, April 28 – May 1.