who we are what we do what you can do member login
purpose & story
vision & values
our chapters
the council
the staff
contact info
The Youth Council

The Council is an elected body that is responsible for all affairs of BYOP at the city-wide and chapter levels. It is responsible for making sure that BYOP is moving ahead on organization campaigns and trainings; attending and planning trainings; and leading retreats, weekly meetings, actions, and events. Each council member serves for 7 months (December to June) and is elected democratically by BYOP’s youth member base.

The Youth Council is made up of At-Large Chairs and Chapter Councilors. Each chapter elects its own Chapter Councilor to serve as a liaison between that chapter and the organization-wide level, and to lead the chapter meetings, campaigns, trainings, and actions. At-Large Councilors are elected by the entire BYOP membership at an annual election in the Fall, and coordinate the section of BYOP’s organizing for which they serve a position. The 2011 At-Large Position categories are Health, Safety, Education, and Transportation.

Allison Casey
Health Justice Chair

My name is Allison Casey and I am a 19-year-old Senior at Snowden International School. I am the Snowden Chapter Councilor and have been since August 2011, and I was elected as the Health Justice Chair in January 2012. I began as a member at BYOP in early 2011, and instantly became hooked on Social Justice and Youth Organizing. It amazed me how strongly youth were believed in at BYOP, and how large their roles were from planning one-hour meetings to weekend long retreats and thousand person rally and marches. Since beginning as a member, I have been able to travel for conferences and marches, and have met people from across the nation going through the same social issues as Boston does. Starting as Snowden Chapter Councilor I have built up a strong community in Snowden, ran weekly chapter meetings, facilitated weekly Citywide meetings with the rest of the Youth Council, planned and executed actions, participated in positive media coverage, and spoken to countless youth across the city as well as at many important events. Being a part of BYOP has given me true purpose, and helped me build a strong work ethic and balance in my life throughout school and my personal life. I love my BYOP family, and I believe the community that we experience with our members needs to be emulated around the world. I ran for Health Justice Chair because I am passionately against oppression, and sexual health (or lack thereof) is one of the most oppressive factors in the American youth's life. HIV/AIDs is not a taboo subject and should not carry any stigma with it, it is a discussion of life and clarity. My dream is to have sexual health be spoken about openly amongst youth throughout the nation to prevent STIs and life threatening STDs. "Put the politicians on minimum wage and watch how fast things change."

Akeira Parker
Educational Justice Co-chair and AEJ Club Councilor

My name is Akeira Park. I am sixteen years old and I go to Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. I became a member of BYOP in the fall of 2010 due to my cousin Amatullah. When I first arrived to BYOP I was, greeted with warm “hellos” and friendly smiles. It was then that I knew I just had to keep coming back and that is exactly what I did. In January 2012, I became the Education Justice Chair. What really made me focus on education was the National March and Rally for the Youth Investment on May 19, 2011. It was so inspirational and I became fixated on transforming education to what it should be. I am so happy that I can and I am doing it.

Susi Castillo
Education Justice Co-Chair & AEJ Club Co-Councilor

Hello, my name is Susi Castillo and I am 18 years old. I have been involved with BYOP since February of 2011. It was not suppose to be a quick connection, it was just because I needed community service, but that changed. BYOP has opened up my eyes so much that it has become more than just an afterschool activity. After involving myself with the organizing work and showed that my interest in the education system has increased, I promised myself to change or have an influence in the educational system of the Boston Public Schools System. BYOP had an education justice platform, which I wanted to be a part of. After a lot of hard work and understanding of the educational system, BYOP and their members voted me onto the Education Justice Platform. In brief, that is where my journey for education began.

Katherine Castillo
Transportaion Justice Co-chair

My name is Katherine Castillo and I am 18 years of age. I have never been involved in a community organizing team until now, and it is an eye opening experience. I have never seen such a well-organized youth and it is a great experience. Before I started working here, I was not aware of anything that was going on in my community. I was not aware of youth’s need until now. After joining B.Y.O.P, I have learned so much about my surroundings that I have become excited about changing it for the best. I became part of B.Y.O.P, but most of all the Transportation Chair. That I am very passionate because without transportation we are not able to go anywhere. Transportation is an important aspect to everyone’s daily life and if I have the power, with my peers, to make it better, then I will do everything I can to make it better. My journey here in B.Y.O.P will continue on forever because I always want to be part of this family. I thank B.Y.O.P for opening their arms and doors to me, accepting me to this amazing family.

Roy James- Daley
Jobs Justice Chair

My name is Roy James-Daley; I’m 18 years old, a senior at Brookline high school, and more importantly an individual unlike any other. I was someone who had big eyes and wanted everything I laid them on. From games, toys or just all around cool looking items in the stores, to anything that people in the mainstream crowd had, and for the longest time that was all I ever wanted. Until one day at the end of summer of 2009 when I realized that, what I was doing was not going to get me where I wanted to be in my life. At that key moment, I set my mind to achieving an important goal, finding a job for the course of the upcoming summer. With this mindset, I would soon achieve the first of many personal goals. I started by volunteering at a non-profit youth organization called The City School which led to me participating in their Summer leadership program, where over 60 young people and myself learned about social justice and experienced what it means to be a leader. From there I continued to grow and work at The City School and was then introduced to BYOP by my predecessor, Asia Medley, who was a youth council chair the year before me. Ever since I’ve been a part of BYOP, as part of the YOT (youth organizing team), we’ve lead a mass of workshops, actions, and citywide meetings. Now, as of January, I am the Jobs and recreational justice chair on BYOP’s youth council. Where I am responsible for leading and informing all of BYOP of the next steps in the ongoing fight for youth job. So we can make sure that every young person in Boston has the same opportunity that I have had the pleasure of having.

Jean Isme
Safety Justice Chair

My name is Jean R, I am eighteen and I am a junior at Madison Park Technical Vocational School. I was born in Haiti and moved to the US when I was six. I got involved with social justice in 2009 working for Freedom House, and then I became involved with BYOP in 2010 for the Summer Training Institute (STI), thanks to (Tai tang ) one of the previous transportation justice chairs at BYOP. I decided to become a member of BYOP after STI because it was fascinating and I learned more than I expected. I learned about different issues that were going on in the community and how I could be a part of improving my community and school. I became the safety justice chair because safety is a constant issue in my community. I have to worry about friends, family, and neighbor’s safety frequently so I wanted to make a change and make an impact.

Light Welcome
Transportation Justice Co- Chair

Hello, viewers of this web page, this is Light writing. I am currently eighteen years young and I am one-half of the transportation justice chairs. I started my BYOP journey in August of 2011 so I am new to this social justice thing, well the name anyways. I’ve always had the “screw the system” mindset but had no idea there were other people my age who felt the same way. That was until Roy came to me and told me about this thing called BYOP. Honestly, I was incredibly hesitant when it came to actually signing the permission slip for STI (Summer Training Institute), it felt like I was about to sign my soul away.. Not cool. But you know by the second day I was like “ I kind of want to keep doing this” and then near the end of STI Allison announces that she’d be staring up a BYOP Snowden Chapter so I was a bit excited to go back to school. After awhile I felt like I really would like to work here and so I found out that, an election was coming up in January. January comes around and I decided that I wanted to run for the Transportation justice chair because transportation is incredibly important to youth living in the city and I had already been working with Kat on transportation. Obviously, I was elected because this profile is here.

All Youth Council members are elected democratically by their peers, and must meet qualifications including BYOP membership and involvement, leadership experience, and organizing skills in order to qualify as candidates.



designed and developed by jetesh hariramani ©2002