Yair was a high school student and member of Juventud Faceta, a Latino youth group in Eugene, when he learned of the paid sick days campaign. This was an issue that deeply affected families in his community. Because his mother had no paid sick days, Yair several times had to miss school to stay with his younger brother, who has a disorder that can cause severe nose bleeds.
“Missing tests or math work was really hard, said Yair. “Teachers were strict about the times I could take tests and I was already behind.”
Yair testified at the Eugene City Council and later in front of the state legislature, gathered signatures, made signs and did photo shoots to engage his community. He also participated in a group opinion piece for the local paper.
Activism “made me develop my own leadership skills,” Yair said. “Being able to impact others’ lives was really special. It was an honor to be a part of the group speaking out.”
After the campaign won in Eugene and statewide, Yair knows his young siblings won’t have to worry about missing school and his mom won’t have to work sick. Now 19 and in college, Yair can access sick days on his job “and still earn money to help me pay for books and living expenses at college.” He’s now fighting for tuition equity.