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Graduates of the Summer Leadership Academy create proposals for reducing gun violence in their community.

Student Proposals are presented on Impact Day, a public program capstone event held at the conclusion of each program. Each student will present a proposal of an event or idea they would like to do with a Students Demand Action group or as a Students Demand Action volunteer that they will receive feedback on from a panel of judges. They are then able to take the feedback into account to determine if they would like to work with their regional organizer and other Students Demand Action volunteers to bring their idea to fruition.

The Proposal Writing Process

The proposal writing process is central to our sustainability goals as a summer program. It represents our commitment to maintaining a robust community of organizers who are committed to gun violence prevention.

During this phase, student participants work with program staff to ideate and, most importantly, better understand what evidence-based gun violence prevention strategies would best serve their community. We hope that these proposals can serve as an organizing introduction for participants interested in starting or joining a Students Demand Action group as well.

In the past, students have proposed a wide range of creative ideas: a 5k gun sense run, a town hall with the mayor, and continuing the summer program in their city the following year.

Students Demand Action Summer Leadership Academy participants pose for a photo with the Los Angeles Rams


  • In 2022, program participants delved into a variety of topics from a community basketball tournament to community poetry readings.

    Program participants in Los Angeles were able to present their proposals in SoFi Stadium to judges including Brandyn Harvey; Inglewood Mayor James Butts; Carlos De Santiago, Regional Program Manager with Gang Reduction & Youth Development; Johnathan Franklin, the Rams’ Director of Social Justice and Football Development; and Ashley Castillo, a Summer Leadership Academy alumna.


  • In 2021, we advanced two proposals from two different cities: Nashville and Detroit.

    Detroit’s proposal encompassed secure storage work, an initiative that Students Demand Action volunteers are focusing on nationwide as well.

  • In Nashville, the selected proposal centered on the connection between mental and physical wellbeing in the gun violence prevention movement, a topic that will be discussed in depth in a roundtable discussion held by this proposal winner in the summer of 2022!
3 Homegirls No Gun podcast logo


  • 3 Homegirls No Gun

    Founded by summer program alumni Alè Ortiz, Jamilex Soto, and Julie Matamoros, 3 Homegirls No Gun educates Gen-Z about gun violence prevention legislation and ways they can get involved in Students Demand Action. The podcast was launched in November 2020 and its first season featured a diverse range of speakers like Congressman Jimmy Gomez and Cara Levine.
  • “We’ve had some touching experiences with our guests because they always bring in something personal or how gun violence has impacted them. It’s been alarming how many stories they have.”

    —Julie Matamoros
  • Listen to the Podcast


  • South Central Summer Leadership Academy

    Low-income students will continue to immerse themselves in advocacy against gun violence in South Central Los Angeles through planning community events, learning about activism, and developing critical leadership skills.