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Ty-Licia, 22


Ty-Licia, California

Growing up in Stockton, CA, Ty-Licia never got used to the alarming amount of violence in her community. A city suffering from poverty and lack of achievement, Forbes has twice deemed Stockton the “most miserable city” in the US. In 2010, Ty-Licia co-founded the Summer Success and Leadership Academy (SSLA) as an intervention to counter the spike of violence amongst Stockton youth and to help youth realize their potential to be part of the solution for their city’s problems.

SSLA recruits students that have been labeled as “problems” or “at-risk” by their schools and provides them with resources and opportunities to reach their full academic potential and make positive life choices. The program also provides students with mentors to guide them on a path to higher education, a pursuit that has been rare for students in Stockton. In 2011, Stanford University research study showed that SSLA was successful in empowering students to be community leaders and equipping them to feel ready to execute social change projects. Ty-Licia says, “I am extremely dedicated to ending educational inequity in America. For now, I see the biggest impact I can have is through the classroom.”

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2015 peace first prize winners


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Growing up a member of the LGBTQ community in North Carolina, Brennan saw firsthand the difficulties and feelings of isolation that LGBTQ youth can endure in a heteronormative environment. And while Brennan was very fortunate to have a loving support system in their family and friends, they saw others who weren’t as lucky. So with a strong sense of compassion, Brennan and a friend took action and courageously created QueerNC.


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2.7 million young people in the US have an incarcerated parent, and statistics show that they are more likely to drop out of high school and go to jail themselves because of it. Yasmine is one of those 2.7 million; she has experienced firsthand the financial and emotional burdens, and the marginalization that a family goes through as a result. And through building a meaningful relationship with her incarcerated parent, by forgiving him, she was motivated to do something to support her peers and help them find their own peace of mind and end this cycle of incarceration.