Access Youth Academy is proud to announce that Natalie Ruybal (17 years old), has been appointed to serve a one year term on the organizations Board of Directors as the student representative of over 90 first generation college bound students from some of the most underserved communities in San Diego.
In this historic appointment, Ms. Ruybal’s passion for squash, art and robotics has seen her become the first student ever appointed to the peak decision-making body of one of the 22 National Urban Squash and Education Associations (NUSEA) member organizations.
Access Youth Academy Executive Director, Renato Paiva, highlighted this appointment as a reflection of the organizations commitment to provide leadership opportunities to students as part of the programs four pillars of academic enrichment, health and wellness, leadership and social responsibility.
“At Access Youth Academy we believe that every child should have equal access to achieve their full potential and while this will be a steep learning curve for Natalie, it will end up being an amazing opportunity for her to work with some of San Diego’s most accomplished professionals and be a strong advocate for the needs of her peers” Mr. Paiva said.
Ruybal, a junior at the award winning Preuss School at UCSD in La Jolla, was elected via a two-step process including a popular vote among Access students, and a staff selection panel.
“I am honored to have the chance to serve on the Access board. It’s a great opportunity for students like me to experience real life leadership roles first hand and give those that the program serves an all-important voice at the table.
“I want to show that young people can make a real contribution and perhaps provide a catalyst for other urban squash programs across the country to adopt student representation on their own boards” Ms. Ruybal said.
Board Chair Blair Sadler, who, as the former President and CEO of Rady Children’s Hospital, is no stranger to high-level board negotiations, was excited about the new perspectives Ms. Ruybal would bring to the table.
“The Board recognizes that establishing strong links between itself and the students at Access Youth Academy and providing them with a platform to present their viewpoints will result in more informed and impactful outcomes.
“Natalie is an accomplished young woman, with plenty of great ideas and will be a true asset for the board as we chart our course for the future in what is our tenth anniversary year” Mr. Sadler said.
The new student representative position will serve a full, non-consecutive, one-year term beginning in February 2016.