YAC members with one of our guest performers, Audrey Mika.

Posted by all YAC members

It was raining outside. Cold and stormy. But the VSCO Headquarters in Oakland, California was burning with passion, talent, and excitement. 

Pink and purple balloons were sprawled around the ground from the elevators to the far back of the headquarters. After the clock struck 5:30pm, youth from all across the Bay Area began flooding in and filling up the seats of VSCO. 

The Youth Advisory Council held their 17th annual That’s Not Love Talent Show to continue a tradition of teen dating violence and domestic violence prevention through peer education while celebrating the talented youth in the Bay Area. This year’s talent show attendees reached over 100 youth and community members, meaning at least 100 people have participated in YAC’s teen dating violence workshop that they typically provide to organizations and youth groups. 

Every year, the Youth Advisory Council work to improve and enhance our annual talent show in order to reach a fresher and larger audience. For our 17th annual talent show, we collectively decided that our talent show should encourage more audience involvement through interactive activities, like our That’s Not Love Kahoot game, “What is Love?” open white board, and an inclusive discussion after our regular Teen Dating Violence presentation. 

Interns’ Personal Opinions

Queenie: This is my second year attending YAC’s talent show, and it’s the first year where I’ve been a part of the organizing process. Seeing how last year’s show went, I was optimistic that we could exceed previous expectations and make the show even better; and I felt we successfully did so. This year’s performances were superb, and the audience’s energy was remarkable despite the unexpected weather and technical difficulties. One of my favorite moments would be hearing the audience’s own thoughts about teen dating violence and offered insights to everyone else in the crowd. 

Emily: Our annual talent show is one of the events I look forward to the most throughout the year. This year was my third year planning and coordinating the talent show, and my second year emceeing for it. The most memorable part of this year’s talent show was the level of involvement and engagement from the audience. In addition to the mesmerizing performances by so many talented youth, many audience members also shared their great perspectives and insights in our discussion about teen dating violence. I am proud to say that our 17th annual talent show was a success!

Eujean: This year was the first year I had attended the annual YAC talent show. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by all of the energy from everyone – the attendees, the MCs, and performers. It was such a fun and effective way to spread awareness about what YAC works for around preventing teen dating violence. The venue was truly amazing, and I am looking forward to planning next year’s talent show!

Vivian: Can’t believe my third year of planning and attending the annual That’s Not Love Talent Show already came to an end! Every bit of the process was valuable because our team grew and learned. It was so nice to see the cozy atmosphere within the VSCO space, and the performers were all incredible! Everyone played a vital role to make our event such a success. I can’t wait to see how YAC continues to create more meaningful talent shows that bring in the community by learning from our mistakes and embracing our successes. 

Kathy: I loved how our 17th annual talent show turned out! We had many amazing raffle prizes, great turn out in the audience, and talented youth performers.The planning for the event was a little hectic, but fortunately many of the YAC interns stepped up to organize the event. I absolutely loved the audience engagement in our Teen Dating Violence presentation-they came with valuable insights to share. I hope next year’s talent show continues to be as great as this one maybe be made even better than before!!

Nick: The 17th annual talent show was the second talent show that I took part in and it turned out great! This year, there was a large variety of performances and our guest performers blew everyone away. To be completely honest, the planning of the talent show was a bit rushed and chaotic because we had other things on our plates such as thinking about our future events. But in the end, everyone came together and gave it their all which allowed us to put this wonderful show together. I feel like we made a great decision with this venue because to me, it gave off a casual coffee shop vibe. The only part that could’ve been better was the weather. The rain may have stunted our turnout a little, but it couldn’t stop us from enjoying the performances! This was a great experience for YAC and throwing community events are always fun. I can’t wait to see how our future events turn out!

Thomas: This was my first year planning YAC’s Talent Show and I was so bummed that I couldn’t see all of our hard work in person. Getting the opportunity to have Amelia & Adinah and Audrey Mika as our guest performers had me starstruck. I could feel the reverberating support all the way through my phone screen from YAC’s Instagram story updates; this speaks not just to the overwhelming talent of the performers, but most importantly the enthusiasm of the audience. Working with the other YAC interns to continually brainstorm new activities, such as the Kahoot, was uplifting and encouraging as we aimed to create the most amazing experience and sought continuous improvement.

Javier: YAC’s talent show is a great way to reach the bay area youth and spread awareness about domestic violence, through our talent show we were able to showcase great talent, giveaway great prizes, learn new things we didn’t know before, and most importantly, have fun. This is only my first time planning a talent show and I can’t wait to see what other great events we have in the future. 

Jocelyn: Although I wasn’t able to attend this year’s talent show, I could see that all of the hard work all of the members put in paid off with the success of the event. The turnout, the energy, and the performers were all amazing, and I can see that YAC is making the talent show bigger and better every year with more games and prizes. Although there were some setbacks, our cooperation and unity as a group helped us overcome them. I cannot wait to see what’s in store for next year’s talent show!

Hua: Being involved in organizing this year’s talent show from the start and seeing the results we get from every member’s hard work, I knew from the beginning that the talent show is going to be a great success. Although, we have to rush a little to set up the venue, I was still very impressed with the venue after it is set up as it is very aesthetically pleasing and has a welcoming vibe. The audiences’ reaction of seeing the talent of API youths is definitely the best part of the talent show to me. I think it is so important to make API youths to feel proud of their own community. I believe the talent show in the future will continue its success and evolve to be better!