Fresno PTBi’s African American Youth Leaders Academy (AAYLA) Featured in NPR Story

Authored by: Kendalyn Mack, Olga Gutierrez De Nunez 

We are happy to share a recent Valley Public Radio-NPR story on Fresno PTBi’s African American Youth Leaders Academy (AAYLA) second cohort. PTBi is implementing AAYLA as part of the recommendations from our Parent Council Advisory Committee in West Fresno. The Parent Council Advisory Committee is comprised of 15 African American leaders representing mothers-with-living-experience, churches, an OB/GYN provider, community benefit organizations, and political action groups. To improve birth outcomes the committee is addressing health education; and inequity and discrimination with an emphasis on whole family integration, early education, and family resiliency.

Kendalyn Mack, who is now our Community Engagement Specialist, participated in the second cohort of AAYLA in Fall 2018, before joining our PTBi team. Highlights from her experience include the Leadership Dinner, Graduation and building relationships with other African American women in the community. She invited several of her friends and family who also graduated from the program. See her testimony below:

“First and For Most: AAYLA was a very intimate and private experience for me. I share this testimony with you because I know it would only bring nothing but an abundance of positivity to the next group of women who seek the same perspicacity. I am very proud to have participated in AAYLA. This program provided a space that allowed myself and the other women in the room to talk about some of the most difficult challenges we face as African American women.  Malcolm X said it best, ‘The most neglected person in America is the Black Woman.’ This program is For Us and everything that comes out of it is By Us. There aren’t any other programs like it in Fresno. Every Black Community needs an AAYLA.”

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Read the NPR Story

Fresno County Preterm Birth Initiative