About Us



Since 2011, We’Ced Youth Media has served the City of  Merced and connected youth to their community and each other via the power of media. A project of Youth Leadership Institute, We’Ced is committed to changing the narrative around young people and challenging the status quo. They provide youth with training in journalism in order to uplift powerful stories through a hyperlocal community health lens. Currently, We’Ced houses 12 youth reporters and mentors, publishes online year-round, and produces one publication a year.



To support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.



In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and became known as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through The kNOw,  opportunities were created for youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. This approach weaved youth development and youth media innovation to produce biannual youth publications, multimedia projects, and community forums.

Finally in 2011,  a satellite youth media program was launched in Merced, giving birth to We’Ced Youth Media.

As We’Ced, we are a part of  a collective of FIVE youth-led media hubs across California. YouthWire is a project of Youth Leadership Institute, offers expert guidance, essential services, and a strong dose of passion to help foster, launch, and grow creative solutions to community challenges.

For more than 20 years, hundreds of individuals, groups, foundations and other institutions have worked with Community Partners to create new nonprofit projects, establish coalitions, and manage major philanthropic initiatives to benefit the region. Our mission is to accelerate ideas into action to advance the public good.

We exist through the generous support of The California Endowment, which is funding a 10-year, $1 billion program called Building Healthy Communities. Fourteen communities across the state are taking action to make where they live healthier. They’re doing this by improving employment opportunities, education, housing, neighborhood safety, unhealthy environmental conditions, access to healthy foods and more. The goal: to create places where children are healthy, safe and ready to learn. Ultimately, they are aiming at nothing less than a revolution in the way all of us think about and support health for all Californians.

The California Endowment is a foundation committed to improving the health of all Californians, especially those in underserved communities. They’ve made thousands of grants since 1996, and the most important thing they’ve learned is that our health doesn’t begin in a doctor’s office. Where we live has an enormous impact on our health. Being able to breathe clean air, to send our kids to school without fear of violence, to have a convenient place to buy fresh foods, to live near a park where we can walk and play – these are the things that prevent us from getting sick in the first place.


We are a proud to be a partner of Building Healthy Communities Merced and serve Merced County