Welcome to MKF Summer Intern Richard Raya

My name is Richard Raya. I’m seventeen years old, and will be a senior this year at Berkeley High. I would have to say that I’m something of a nerd- albeit a sociable and athletic one. I love being lazy, reading, writing, playing video games and watching movies. And yet in spite of some of these somewhat immature mannerisms- or perhaps because of them- I have an intense fascination with concepts like equality and justice, and the entire idea of people helping each other. It seems to me that we all have a responsibility, to our communities and to ourselves; to be the very best we can and contribute to the lives of those around us. Thus, I’m very excited to be interning at the Mitchell Kapor Foundation. The work that gets done in the field of social justice is vital- it is the act of helping restore equilibrium to people that have long been marginalized so that we can all become more self sufficient and more powerful in our society. This entails ensuring that people have the means to support themselves, and their community, economically, socially and politically, which subsequently entails community organizing. However, during community organizing endeavors, one key demographic is often overlooked: youth. Youth make up a significant part of a community’s size and creativity, and as such can make a significant impact in the world around them. Young people, although they may lack the power to vote and may not have as much financial power as adults, still retain passion and idealism, and as such can contribute greatly to any social justice campaign’s volume and direction. This summer, I will be delving into various methods of facilitating youth organizing to ultimately conclude what organizations like the Mitchell Kapor Foundation can do to effectively aid youth organizers.

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