Youth Leaders

By creating a community of youth from throughout San Francisco, Youth Art Exchange provides unique opportunities for youth to lead in the city around them through art and design.

Teaching Assistants

Youth Art Exchange engages advanced program participants in leadership activities throughout the year including paid internships as Teaching Assistants. In this position, students participate in the “back end” of the classes, developing curriculum and special projects, as well as provide invaluable insight at our faculty meetings.

Youth Advisory Board

Youth Art Exchange’s Youth Advisory Board demonstrates the highest rung on the ladder of leadership at the organization. Youth Advisory Board members have been program participants, interns, classroom and teaching assistants- or those who have just stood out as exceptional- and have aspired to inform program development, implementation, and strategic initiatives. The Youth Advisory Board members select faculty members, evaluate programs and provide the youth perspective to our work. The Youth Advisory Board partners with other youth leaders in the city (Children’s Creativity Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, and more) to write grants, plan the annual POP-UP events, and be the voice of young artists in San Francisco.

The Youth Art Exchange Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is a group of high school students who help create, lead, and support the programs at Youth Art Exchange. Youth serve on the YAB for the duration of the school year (September – June) and are paid stipends in both the Fall & Spring.

Meet our 2016-17 Youth Advisory Board

Christopher Lam has made and drawn models of buildings since he was little,. This inspired him to start taking visual art classes where he learned how to shade and draw landscape pictures. After two years of studying visual art, he discovered the architecture program at Youth Art Exchange which gave him a chance to work with other high school students and architects. During his freshman year at the Academy of Arts and Sciences, he began to learn how to draft and make models of projects. With the inspiration and encouragement from the YAX faculty, he now hopes to have a future career as an architect and engineer. Right now he is a junior and plans to a college like MIT or Cornell University. He has been in Youth Art exchange for around three years and learned new skills like computer designing, drafting, sketching in different views and planes, building models, and construction.. Christopher is passionate to learn more about architecture, planning, outreach, and leadership because he wants to become a professional, well-rounded architect engineer. He is grateful to be part of this amazing, fun program.

Coleman Roberts, a new member of YAX, is a 12th grade student at Balboa High School. He is currently a part of the Youth Art Exchange Digibeats class. His inspirations include artists like Frank Ocean, Kanye West, Pharrell, and experiences such as urban life and iridescence. He is interested in film, fashion, tennis, travel, politics, and Asian food. He joined YAB to gain leadership and collaborative experience in the field that he enjoys most. Coleman appreciates the artistic, relaxed, and free-spirited nature of the YAX experience.

David Lara is a 12th grade student at Lowell High School. He is currently part of the Advanced Architecture Firm and was a student in the introductory class last year. David finds inspiration in various types of music and his everyday interactions with his surroundings. He mostly enjoys photography and DIY-projects. He joined YAB due to his interest in finding an artistic and collaborative space in which his opinion can be heard. He enjoys what Youth Art Exchange does with the community and how it supports the arts in for our youth.

Fiona Gray is a 10th grade student at Mission High School. She is currently taking the Youth Art Exchange Printmaking class. She has been on the Youth Advisory Board since the fall of 2015. Fiona is inspired generally by nature and she expresses that in her artwork. She joined YAB to expand her leadership experience and positively impact Youth Art Exchange. She also likes being involved and having her opinions heard.

Lillian Winston is a 10th grade student at Mission high school. She is part of the printmaking class at Youth Art Exchange. She is inspired by music, other people’s stories, and nature. Lillian joined YAB to increase her leadership skills and to meet and make new friends. She likes being part of something she thinks is important and enjoys the ways YAX impacts communities.

Maria Sagum is a 10th grade student at Mission High School. She is currently part of the Youth Art Exchange Printmaking class. She is inspired by her community, her own experiences, and other artists. She is also interested in film editing, playing and listening to music, and other forms of art. She joined YAB to meet new people and gain valuable leadership experience. She enjoys seeing everyone’s voices make a difference and wants to help make sure everyone in YAX feels supported and proud of their work.

Urban Tedeski is a 10th grade student at John O’Connell High School. He is currently the TA (teachers assistant) of the Youth Art Exchange Digibeats class. His music is inspired from several artists across multiple genres, taking the desirable parts and ideas and putting them all together in his tracks (you also check out his soundcloud at: He is also interested in Filmmaking, Photography, Skating, Reddit, PC Building, Sushi, and Mexican Food.  Urban joined YAB to be more involved in the YAX community and help make Youth Art Exchange be the best that it can be. He also saw YAB as an opportunity to meet other students his age in his community. He values the creative and supportive atmosphere that Youth Art Exchange provides.