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Aathmika: Your Guide to Changing Your Community

Updated: Apr 17

In a constantly changing world, it's important to fight for what you believe in. Our Time to Act United's (OTTA United) Board of Directors gives you the perfect opportunity to use your voice to create impactful change. The Board of Directors requires a large range of skills and provides opportunities to work with people of different backgrounds and goals.

So, what does OTTA United's Board of Directors do?

OTTA United's Board of Directors consists of a variety of youth and adults who help OTTA United fulfill its mission: To organize powerful youth for an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future. Some board directors currently hold positions in various committees including Treasurer (Oliver Lin), Chair of Ethics and Policy (Gabrielle Darisme), and Chair of Strategy and Risk (Anna Pierce). These positions, along with others, play a crucial role in OTTA United's success. Through board meetings and collaborations with staff, the board is able to guide OTTA United's trajectory and make organization-wide decisions. Through budgeting, risk assessment, policy creation, and more, OTTA United's Board of Directors lays the foundation for our success as an organization.

Why should you join OTTA United's Board of Directors?

Joining OTTA United's Board of Directors would allow you to grow your expertise in various fields and connect with others that have similar interests, such as civil engagement and amplifying youth voices. As OTTA United continues to evolve and develop, its mission gives you the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Representing something you believe in while engaging with passionate peers opens a large range of opportunities and avenues to explore as you further your career and interests. Investing in the next generation of leaders allows you to make a meaningful impact towards the future and become a true advocate for the community.

But, what is advocacy?

Advocacy holds a multitude of meanings and importance to different people. Advocacy can mean to go the distance. Committing to what you believe in and taking action on these beliefs can be the change that makes the difference. Advocacy can also mean using your voice to elicit change. Allowing ourselves to be hindered by fear only stops us from speaking out on what matters most to us. And through these words of advocacy, we empower others. Advocacy is the means by which we interact with the world around us and push the boundaries of society.

Now that you understand more about OTTA United, what have we done in the past?

Throughout its five years (fun fact: OTTA United's birthday is on August 24th!) OTTA United has dabbled in a variety of different projects and important issues. Here are some of our board members' favorite projects that they've worked on or supported!

Oliver Lin enjoyed participating in PRIDE San Diego with OTTA United. He felt amazed seeing PRIDE in action and getting the chance to be fully immersed in the experience. Anna Pierce reflected on one of the early projects she was involved with, a project about mental health in regards to high schoolers. Being able to be a part of something bigger than herself and witnessing the difference she was able to create made the experience even more special and impactful for her. Another one of OTTA United's earlier projects involved them in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, a project that helped Gabrielle Darisme, the current Chair of Ethics and Policy, contribute to the pandemic response in her own way, inspiring her to continue working and contributing to OTTA United's goals.

How do youth play a role in OTTA United's different projects?

Though participating in politics and advocacy may seem out of bounds for youth, OTTA United strives to engage youth in their community. It is important that youth understand that "information is power," as Gabrielle Darisme emphasizes. Youth can change the norms and future with the right tools in their hands. OTTA United gives youth the opportunity to use their voice and speak for their future. As Anna Pierce says, there "isn't one right way to do it." Youth have the power to make a difference in their world, and OTTA United continues to support these goals.

Regardless of your age or educational background, OTTA United is a place where the next generation can foster their advocacy skills and use their voice to stand for their beliefs. OTTA United's Board of Directors is an environment to not only be a catalyst for change, but to expand your knowledge and gain valuable experience. Joining OTTA United: whether its through being part of our board, staff, or our donor base, will allow you to become a catalyst for change in our community.

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