2021 leadership retreat

6th Annual Raising Placer Leadership Retreat

FREE! Open to ages 13 +
Over 18 must either be an official adult mentor/partner or be the parent of a current attendee.

The leadership retreat is a series of five weekly sessions that create opportunities for youth to connect and have fun, inspire creativity and build leadership skills.


Session 1:
Kick Off Day

Wed., June 23, 2021, 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. (In Person)

Kick Off Day will be held at Regional Park in Auburn. It includes three dynamic and engaging activities with small group rotations as follows:

Session 1a:
Get Out and Play with Disc Golf – Respecting our Game!

Join in for a fun day in nature, and learn the basics of disc golf to encourage a healthy outlet. We will be discussing the importance of respect and equality on and off the field. Serenity will be sharing her greatest tips on how to play disc golf effectively while having fun too! Each participant will be receiving discs donated by Throw Pink Disc Golf, and goodie bags put together from El Dorado disc sports and other sponsors, along with some other surprises!

Host: Serenity Madison is the 2021 United States Women’s Disc Golf Champion, an aspiring Professional Disc Golfer, competing nationwide in the disc golf scene. She is sponsored by organizations like Throw Pink Disc Golf, Sublime Disc Dyes, Legit Apparel, and FlighTowel. 

Session 1b:
Creating Shields of Strength Art Project

Learning to understand ourselves, our families, our community through storytelling, art and writing fun.

Host: Stan Padilla is a community artist, storyteller and educator. He has been working with youth for over 40 years.

Session 1c:
Finding Your Medicine

Sierra Native Alliance will facilitate this session where youth will learn about the tradition and symbolism of medicine bags and healing herbs. Each participant will have an opportunity to create their own “medicine” bag with local herbs and plants and share in the talking circle.

Host: Loren Nakai, Navajo is a certified SUD counselor, received BS Industrial Organization Psychology East Bay University. Loren has 20 years of experience providing traditional health education, spiritual advisement and traditional counseling services in the Native American community. Being a traditional singer, enjoys working with youth, elders and all walks of life.v


Session 2:
Game Changers – A Creative Space for Gamers & Content Creators (Unlocking YouTube, Twitch & More)

Wed., June 30, 2021, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (Virtual via Zoom)

In this workshop, we will explore the world of Content Creation & Live-Streaming, through the lens of Gamers, Videographers, YouTubers, Artists, Musicians, Actors, Entertainers and Hip Hop Educators.

Students/Participants will hear from a variety of creators & learn about the tools they use to create; with time reserved for Q&A.

As a group we will discuss what it takes to start a Twitch or YouTube channel, different creative approaches, how to effectively build a following and more.

We will also share tips for internet safety and how best to deal with online bullying, trolls etc

Participants will be encouraged to share about their (channel) ideas and goals.

And to plan/brainstorm creative ways to get a message out to the world, using these tools and their platform.

Hosts: Rocky Zapata with “Gamechanger Team” youth and our mentors, Courtney Chambers and DJJ Joseph Torres, CoU’RaGe Christian Couto & Duston Machado

About the Hosts:

  • Rocky Zapata: Videographer/ Editor/ Youth Mentor/ Community Organizer/  Public Speaker/ Podcast Producer/ Event Planner/ Co-founder of Auburn Hip Hop Congress 
  • DJJ: Hip-Hop Artist/ Producer/ Public Speaker/ Twitch Streamer/ Content Creator 
  • Courtney Chambers: Actor/ Casting/ Content Creator, Holistic Health Practitioner/ Beauty & Lifestyle Expert
  • Christian Couto aka Couhustlehard: Emcee/Podcaster/ Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Counselor/ Youth Mentor/ Advocate/ Gamechanger 
  • Duston Machado: Muralist/ Visual Artist/ Graff Writer/ Graphic Designer/ YouTuber 

Session 3:
Stand Up! Speak out! Make Change! – How to Make a Positive Difference in Your Community

Wed., July 7, 2021, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (Virtual via Zoom)

In this workshop, we will hear from youth working on some exciting projects in their communities. We will also break down a simple model/template that contributes to youth making great change. Leaders from local youth groups are also invited to share what they are excited to be working on! Whether you are already connected with a group making a difference in the community or would like to get involved in issues that are important to you, this workshop will give you the foundation to make real change.

Host: Natalie Zapata is the Co-Founder of local youth arts group, Auburn Hip Hop Congress and also a small nontraditional high school, Academy of BLAH (Business, Leadership, Arts & Humanities). She has been working with youth to make a difference in her community for 25+ years.


Session 4
R.A.P. (Rhythm and Poetry)

Wed., July 14, 2021, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (Virtual via Zoom)

Join us as local finest Real Raza Music, and International Touring Artist, J Ross Parrelli, join together for Rhythm and Poetry. Using art, music, and movement, students will build awareness of self, community, creativity, and culture. We will provide opportunities for students to discover and utilize their voice in effective means of communication, healing, entertainment, and connection. Students will explore beat making, lyric and song writing, and the basics of recording, using Bandlab (smartphone and chrome compatible).

Hosts: J Ross Parrelli & Raza

About the Host: 
J Ross – Teaching Artist/ Mentor/ AUSD Board of Education, www.beatslyricsleaders.com co-founder, Curriculum Development, and Creative Director


Session 5: 
Hope from the Heart

Wed., July 21, 2021, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (Virtual via Zoom)

Going through challenging times is almost a certainty, especially for teenage community leaders.  Join the Hope Dealer to learn the science behind living and thriving through your challenges, gaining perspective along your journey, and offering a helping hand to those less fortunate.

Host: Jeremy Bates, the HOPE Dealer, uses music and storytelling to engage and inspire hope. “Often times we understand who we are by first exploring who we are not. In times of challenge, we learn about ourselves by how we engage hope for a brighter future.”

FREE! Open to ages 13 +