ImpactYouth Programs

A Reimagined Fuego Youth Leadership Program For Summer 2020

By Cathy Niland | 6.24.2020

When we learned we’d be able to host on-site youth programs this summer, we immediately began brainstorming ways to continue our long-running Fuego Youth Leadership Program. Fuego is a youth leadership opportunity for high school students excited about deepening their technical skills, learning leadership skills, and supporting The Crucible’s youth classes. Fuego leaders progress from immersive creative classwork to the exploration of possible career opportunities.

Last summer, for the first time in Fuego’s ten-year history, we integrated our first and second year students for an expanded, four week program. With our new health and safety guidelines in mind, we’ve decided to streamline Fuego 2020 so that our first-year students from last summer can complete their program, returning to a two-week format without the addition of first-year participants.

fuego youth leadership program 2020

I never thought I could make something this big. It was definitely a long journey, but everyone was so supportive, and my mentor Ale’ah helped me so much.

– Leslie Kwok
Speaking on her butterfly crown at our 2019 Fuego Reception

Unlike in summers past, this year Fuego Leaders will not be assisting youth campers during class time, but instead will help prep for classes and dedicate more time to personal projects. Our Fuego Coordinator, Nico Chen, hopes this more intimate version of the Fuego program will afford his students lots of time to reflect current events in their work.

“Sometimes, when we’re going through moments of crisis we don’t have the opportunity to distill what we learn,” said Nico. “Through our discussions, I hope we can be vulnerable while also being active with our hands…and integrate something personally meaningful into what we produce.”

fuego youth leadership program 2020

Our returning Fuego Leaders during a field trip to Cass’ recycling center last summer. 

While the structure of the Fuego Youth Leadership Program will look fairly different this year, we’re excited to continue providing Bay Area youth with a pathway to careers as artists and leaders. We’ll be sharing updates on the program throughout the summer.

Thank you to our sponsors for making our 2020 Fuego Youth Leadership Program possible:

Changes to our 2020 Fuego Youth Leadership Program at a glance:

  • We are only hosting our five returning Fuego Youth Leaders for their second summer
  • Instead of the four-week program we piloted last summer, this year Fuego will run for two weeks only
  • Fuego Leaders will not be directly assisting with youth campers
  • Instead of an in-person reception, Fuego Leaders will prepare their work and panel discussion for a virtual format

Meet Our 2020 Fuego Youth Leadership Program Participants

fuego youth leadership program 2020

Alexandra Otani, Age 18

Glass Flameworking

fuego youth leadership program 2020

Elisa McCormick, Age 17


fuego youth leadership program 2020

Lauren Bartlett, Age 18

Leather Working

fuego youth leadership program 2020

Leslie Kwok, Age 16


fuego youth leadership program 2020

Max Arellano, Age 18


Want to learn more about our Fuego Youth Leadership Program?

Find impact related statistics, profiles on leaders from past summers, and more on how you can support our youth empowerment programs.

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