Yammilette “Yami" Rodriguez is the senior director of the Central Valley's Youth Leadership Institute (YLI), where she advocates for the inclusion of youth in community issues such as policy-making and sustainable social change. She has more than 20 years' experience in policy advocacy and higher education.
As senior director, Rodriguez has expanded the youth development program, launched its Merced office and extended programming within the region. Some of YLI's youth-led projects have focused on the prevention of underage drinking, healthier corner stores, healthy advertising and eating campaigns, and providing access to parks. Nationwide, she trains organizations on how to create strong partnerships between young people and adults to make communities healthier.
Rodriguez earned an associate degree in business from Reedley College, a bachelor's degree in business administration with a marketing emphasis from California State University, Fresno, and a master's degree in leadership and organizational studies from Fresno Pacific University. Her thesis was in the area of Latino attainment of higher education. She also has a credential in working with urban youth from Fuller Theological Seminary and is currently a doctoral candidate in public policy at West Chester University.
Rodriguez and her husband, Jim, served as volunteer senior pastors at a community church from 2011-2018 in southeast Fresno. They have two daughters, Lizette and Juliette, who are currently in elementary school.