“Our Future” Reporting Series: Gen Z Takes on the Challenges of Adulthood in California

Youth-Led Multimedia Project Tackles a Range of Topics from Women’s Rights to Housing Insecurity and the Upcoming Election

OAKLAND, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, California youth journalists announced “Our Future,” a multimedia reporting series highlighting the challenges they face and how they are offering and navigating solutions. Over four months of reporting this year, 15- to 25-year-olds chose topics, including women’s and LGBTQ+ rights, college admissions, housing insecurity, environmental issues, and the divisive political terrain, with the goal of shining a spotlight on how they are being impacted personally by these issues.

“There’s a struggle happening amongst Gen Z across the state, and this project puts these struggles front and center for our communities to see and hear,” said Nykeya Woods, YR Media editor, producer, and project manager for “Our Future.” “We are proud to provide a platform that supports and amplifies underrepresented youth to raise awareness regarding the challenges they face and how they are working to overcome those challenges.”

This California Youth Media Network multimedia project is produced by journalists and storytellers from the Eastern Coachella Valley, Fresno, Los Angeles, Monterey, Sacramento, Oakland, and Richmond. The series includes:

  • Affirmative Action Fallout: One year after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions, a Fresno high school student reflects on being part of the first group affected by this historic decision.
  • Weighing the Issues, Gen Z Poised to Play Big Role in 2024 Election: Young voters are the largest generational voting block in the country. An El Cerrito college student looks at how young voters feel about the national election.
  • Changing the Narrative: What Does it Mean to Be an Activist?: One Central California resident reflects on her activism and non-profit work providing residents with economic relief and addressing homelessness.
  • Liberty vs. Anatomy: A Sacramento high school student explores the ripple effects of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down abortion rights.
  • Adult Children Living with Parents Becomes the New Norm: Boyle Heights reporters examine Gen Z’s struggles to find affordable housing solutions and the larger impact on families.

“‘Our Future’ represents all that is great about journalism and collaboration,” said 22-year-old Carmen Gonzales, a Cal State Long Beach student and youth reporter at Boyle Heights Beat in Los Angeles. “This series has provided the opportunity to shine a light on today’s most pressing issues for young people and provides a platform to propose and implement solutions.”

“Our Future” launches June 11, 2024, at https://californiayouthmedianetwork.org/our-future. The multimedia project was created by Boyle Heights Beat, The Contra Costa Pulse, Coachella Unincorporated, The kNOw, Tower of Youth, Voices of Monterey Bay, and YR Media,

Funding for this project was provided by The California Endowment. For more information about The California Youth Media Network, please visit https://californiayouthmedia.org/.

About The California Youth Media Network

The California Youth Media Network is a robust network of youth-driven community journalism hubs around the state of California, built over the last decade. Network groups work together to build youth skills and leadership, raise the visibility of youth voices statewide, bring more voices into high-profile media outlets that can influence policy, convene regularly to share best practices in media production, and build coalitions and impact.


Heath Meyer



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