Mission Statement

Founded in 2009 at UC Davis, Sacramento Area Youth Speaks (SAYS) strives to change the world through education and empowerment. Building on a foundation of critical literacy and spoken word performance poetry, SAYS breaks the chains of underachievement by elevating the voices of young people and creating spaces for students to become authors of their own lives and agents of change.


SAYS Staff and Structure

Dr. Vajra Watson
Director of Research and Policy for Equity, SAYS Founder and Director

Read her bio

Patrice Hill
SAYS Coordinator

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Ijeoma Ononuju
SAYS Scholar 

 

Denisha Bland
Lead Poet-Mentor Educator
Learning Skills Counselor

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Andre Tillman 
Poet-Mentor Educator and Lead for Kings Raising Kings
Learning Skills Counselor

Jennifer Vargas 
Poet-Mentor Educator
Learning Skills Counselor

 

Ronnee LaRae 
Poet-Mentor Educator and Lead for After-School Services
Learning Skills Counselor

 

Terri Grace
Poet-Mentor Educator
Learning Skills Counselor

Laura Andrews-Cook
Poet-Mentor Educator
Learning Skills Counselor