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 2018-19 Youth Advisory Board

Fiona Gray is a senior at Mission High School. She is in YAX’s Printmaking class and has been a part of Youth Art Exchange since fall of 2015. She has been on the Youth Advisory Board since the fall of 2015. She was born and raised in San Francisco. She has also been dancing with Ensambles Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco for over 10 years and is invested in the Bay Area’s arts scene. 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 plans on attending a 4 year university.

Jasmine Lee is a 12th grade student at Lowell High School who is currently taking the fashion design class at YAX. She has previously taken the filmmaking class as well.  Jasmine finds her inspiration through nature and enjoying other forms of art. She joined YAB because she wanted to help expand the arts for youth and make a difference in her community.

Lillian Winston is a 12th 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 currently a senior at Mission High School. She has been a Printmaking student at YAX since her freshman year and a member of YAB since her sophomore year. She was born and raised in San Francisco. Her art is inspired by the stories and experiences of those who have been excluded from mainstream media. She is also interested in film editing, playing and listening to music, and photography. 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. She plans on attending a 4-year college next year.

Mia Deno is a senior at Lowell High School and has been a part of YAX’s Fashion Design Class for four years. Her inspirations are SZA, Princess Nokia, Solange, Tara Chandra, and the world around her. She writes poetry, paints, and listens to R&B and rap. She joined YAB to interact more with the community and gain leadership experience in an organization she loves. Mia has a lot of appreciation for the encouraging and artistic vibes that YAX and its community exudes. She looks forward to going to school for fashion design and having her own brand one day.

Vernard Ramirez is a senior at Lowell High School and is a member of YAX’s Architecture Firm. He was born in the Philippines but was raised in San Francisco. He is passionate about influencing others with art and design. Outside of Youth Art Exchange, he does a lot of fine arts- drawing, paintings, etc. He aspires to reshape the built environment by emphasizing culture, history, and community in design.

Clyde Nichols is a photographer and visual artist from Oakland, California. For more than 5 years he has been passionately engaged in the pursuit of authentic photographic expression. From processing film in the darkroom to editorial fashion shoots on the streets of Manhattan, he can be found collaborating with other young artists and challenging himself to grow as an artist. Whether it’s an interior design shoot or a photo essay of the latest national student walkout Clyde strives to create emotional photographs that spark wonder and creativity. Clyde’s goal is to change mind, and open eyes through his photography, and he hopes to gain a larger platform to affect this change during his time as a YAB member!

Jennifer Garcia is a 9th grader at City Arts and Tech High School and is in her first semester in YAX’s Fashion Design class. She grew up in the Excelsior District. She likes eating, watching movies, hanging out with friends and family and shopping. She wants to be either a pediatrician or lawyer.

Jodi Jang is a freshman at Abraham Lincoln High School. She is part of the Industrial + Product Design class at YAX. She is also in the ACE Program (Architecture Construction Engineering) at Lincoln and volunteers with Heart in Motion. She loves Bob Ross and David’s Vlogs. Her dream is to visit Japan and own a dog one day.

Michael Lopez – Bio coming soon!