Imelda Meza Torres joined Loud for Tomorrow because the organization shares the same values as her and both know the power of youth and what it means to help the community.
Torres is 17 years old and was born in Cosala, Sinaloa, but was brought into the states before the age of one. She is currently a senior at Cesar E Chavez High School in Delano, CA. Torres loves staying busy and reading books.
“You can always find my face buried in a book. I love to travel although I’ve only been out of California once. My goal is to one day have my own bakery, where I can be my own boss,” said Torres. “My plan after high school includes going to a college, CSU or UC, where I would like to double major in Business Management and either Food Sciences or Culinary. While in college I want to connect with an organization close to where I am located, to continue the work I care for.”
Loud For Tomorrow is a grassroots youth-led organization based in Delano, California that is building youth power to transform schools and communities through civic engagement, advocacy, and community healing.
Founded in 2018, this organization focuses on young people to help organize people’s power, register young voters, and win campaigns for a brighter tomorrow.
“Although I am 17 years old now, if you were to ask me how it felt helping the community at a young age back in 2019 when I first started, I would say, absolutely terrifying, but now I would say relaxing or soothing. It makes me happy seeing that at a young age I am able to help change the community by doing things such as handing out COVID tests or registering people to vote,” said Torres.
As a Loud for Tomorrow member, Torres helps the community by doing voter registration work with high school students and the community. She also makes appearances at the local board council meetings when she knows essential topics that will impact the lives of the youth will be talked about.
“It gives me a sense of pride seeing my peers and I do this type of work. I believe that it’s important to let our community know that power comes from the voice of the youth. We will eventually be the ones leading our communities so maybe trust us more with topics that involve us,” said Torres. “It’s important to educate people because the topics we bring up are those of importance. Not only will they eventually impact society, but with the right information we can make sure we’re ready for them.”
Torres said her older sister was initially the one who got her to be a part of Loud for Tomorrow, but she would say the person who truly made her feel welcomed from the start was the Co-Founder, Anai Paniagua, and all the Loud staff.
“Anai was one of the first people to come up to me on my first day and introduce herself to 14-year-old me. She was the one that kept on advising me that I was capable of making the change needed in my community. She helped me get through multiple obstacles throughout my time with Loud for Tomorrow and helped me turn into the person I am now,” said Torres.
As a non-partisan organization, Torres and Loud for Tomorrow also hold phone-banking sessions during the election season to remind registered voters to go out and vote.
“We have a team of about 8-9 organizers that call registered voters letting them know that the election season is around the corner and give them information on the topic. We also do pop-ups all around our community and surrounding communities to inform them of important topics, and to register them to vote if they are yet to be registered,” said Torres.
Loud for Tomorrow is currently on a Tour going around different communities and updating them on important matters.
“We are also still currently phone-banking until the day of the Election! Remember to vote before or on November 8! The mission of Loud for Tomorrow is to help the voice of youth make an impact within the community, but they also help vocalize matters that were otherwise silenced,” said Torres.
Torres said she is very thankful to her sister for giving her advice and telling her about Loud for Tomorrow because without her she would have never been able to impact and help out the community the way she has now.
“I would like to thank all of the loud staff for welcoming me in at such a young age. Thank you to Anai, Jose, Bivi, Monique, Marivel, etc. Also, thank you to all my co-workers who have become some of my best friends during all of this! But the biggest thanks is to my older sister Elizabeth Meza Torres who took me that one Saturday afternoon into the office of CRPE and made me introduce myself to everyone,” said Torres.
If anyone is interested in Loud for Tomorrow you can visit any of their social media sites @Loud4Tomorrow or go to their website Loudfor.org for more information.