Moving Forward Together

JFS Teen Leadership

Find Your Voice and Be a Voice for Others

Ready to step up and give back to your community? We’re empowering the next generation of leaders to create social change right here in San Diego.

The JFS Teen Leadership program is a unique opportunity for teens of all faiths and backgrounds to hone their skills as a passionate social justice advocate. With the mentorship of JFS staff and community partners, participants will develop valuable leadership skills, learn how to effectively make change in their community, develop new relationships with like-minded peers, and strive to earn service awards that strengthen resumes and college applications.

Each participant will learn about a wide array of social justice issues, run community donation drives, volunteer multiple times a year, create awareness campaigns at school or in their community, and develop a final project to enact change on an issue they are passionate about. Core topics include: hunger, gender equality, immigration, and much more.

Take the Next Step

The 2019-2020 JFS Teen Leadership deadline has passed. If you’re a teen interested in volunteering or developing a project for a school club, reach out to see how you can get involved.

Email [email protected]
Call (858) 637-3042

Your Voice Virtual Conference

Your Voice: A Virtual Youth Activism Conference

Join us on May 17th for a virtual Your Voice experience while we stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our online conference features inspiring community speakers and interactive workshops that you can participate in from the comfort of your own home. We may be physically distant right now, but we can still advocate for social justice and take action to create positive change in our community. Open to all 9-12th graders!


Learn More & Register >>

Meet Our 2019-2020 JFS Teen Leaders

How We Lead

We Listen and Learn

Effective leadership starts by listening to the needs of your community. Our program teaches participants how to identify pressing problems and advocate for sustainable change. Throughout the year, JFS Teen Leaders attend workshops, trainings, and conferences to develop the necessary skills to create a lasting impact. Past learning experiences included ADL San Diego anti-bias training, public speaking workshops, Strengths Finder assessment and workshop, and Your Voice Teen Activism Conference.


We Serve the Community

Community is the home we build together. JFS Teen Leaders are committed to showing up for our San Diego family and supporting local causes that improve the collective wellbeing of our city. We dedicate hundreds of service hours to JFS and other organizations like Coastal Roots Farm, San Diego Youth Services, Girls on the Run, San Diego Humane Society, Rachel’s Women’s Shelter, Project Concern International, and Feeding San Diego. Past participants have earned Presidential Volunteer Service awards, the Peter Chortek Leadership award, and the Jack and Lorraine Stern Volunteer of the Year award for their commitment to community service.


We Speak Out

Change happens when we raise our collective voice. The JFS Teen Leadership program will develop the advocacy skills of each participant so they can communicate effectively both in-person and across digital platforms. We’ve traveled to Sacramento to lobby for Hunger Awareness Day, hosted 50/50 Day film screenings to promote gender equality, launched GoFundMe campaigns, and mentored middle school students.


We Create Change

Never underestimate the power one person has to make a difference. Our curriculum is focused on making a measurable difference in the San Diego community and equipping JFS Teen Leaders to continue changing the world once they leave the program. In the past, we’ve packed school supply bags for homeless youth, collected hygiene products for women’s shelters, organized beach clean-ups, created activism workshops – the list goes on and on!

Our Impact Last Year

pounds of food collected.
sanitary products collected for women in need.
service hours completed.

Take the Next Step

The JFS Teen Leadership program runs from September through June and consists of two activities a month.

Applications are closed for the 2019-2020 year.

Get In Touch

We’re here to answer your questions and help you get started. If you’re a teen interested in volunteering or developing a project for a school club, reach out to see how you can get involved with JFS Teen Leaders.


Daria Tomsky, Community Leadership Programs Lead Coordinator

Daria is a San Diego native who began working for JFS in December 2016. She has a bachelor’s degree from UC Davis in Human Development, with a minor in Education. Prior to working for JFS, she worked in a variety of youth development programs. While living in Davis, Daria served as the Camp Director of an Outdoor Education Summer Camp. She also spent a year and a half teaching English and living in South Korea. Daria loves her job because she has the opportunity to affect the lives of our future generation, inspiring them to care about the important issues that face our community and our world. When Daria is not busy empowering the next generation of leaders, she enjoys rock climbing, spending time outdoors, or relaxing with her cat.


JFS Teen Leadership is provided with the help of SDG&E.