30 Under 30 Award: Jenifer Hughes
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Why 30 Under 30?
Over 230 nominees from 80 YMCA associations across the country were identified for this new award by through the YMCA of the USA, and Jenifer was one of 30 people selected as an honoree by the Emerging Leaders Resource Network.
Jenifer Hughes, Buchanan YMCA
Jenifer first began her work with the YMCA of San Francisco's Diversity and Inclusion (DIG) efforts in 2012 when our Y was awarded funds to help support the creation of a Hispanic/Latino Leadership Network. Jenifer was a frontline staff member that volunteered to be part of the planning committee. After this introduction to DIG work, she began participating in the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) employee resource group and attended trainings to support this work.
In 2016, Jenifer founded our San Francisco YMCA's Women's Leadership Network (WLN). Since then, her cohort hosted several events (including panels and workshops, volunteer work, social, and networking events) to support women-identified staff of the YMCA.
Jenifer is the chair of our Employee Resource Group steering committee and has participated for multiple years as a Bridging the Gap Mentor. In September, Jenifer lead a workshop with a fellow WLN committee member at the YMCA of the USA's Women's Leadership Conference. Jenifer also looks forward to working with her peers to cultivate and bring a group of teens to the YMCA 175 event in London in 2019. As a queer-identified Latina, Jenifer feels strongly about the work the Y is doing to celebrate and support the LGBT identified staff and staff of color.
Commitment to the Y
Jenifer currently sits on the YMCA of San Francisco's teen and transitional aged youth team. The committee's work consists of supporting programs through creating best practices, trainings, and policies surrounding the teen and transitional aged youth population participating in Y programs. Jenifer is also the Program Coordinator for the Youth & Government and Model United Nations programs for the YMCA of San Francisco. Her work consists of leading and creating and facilitating best practices and policies. Jenifer also sits on the California statewide Youth & Government Conferences (ex: dress code, code of conduct, and elections).
Commitment to the Community
Working within the city's Western Addition/Fillmore District at Buchanan YMCA, Jenifer and her team are serving communities of color with financial barriers to high-quality services. Through Workforce Development and civic engagement programs, Jenifer works to eliminate barriers. Jenifer's workforce development program focuses enrollment to youth who would traditionally have barriers to education or employment (including race, housing status, language, etc.). Jenifer's team provides job readiness training, financial literacy, and leadership skill building to these youth. Once they complete these trainings, youth are provided paid internships. During her Civic Engagement programming, Jenifer specifically recruits youth whose communities have historically been discouraged or have provided barriers to voting or running for public office. Jenifer's goal for her teens is to provide opportunities that will open their minds and doors to what their future may hold.