Meet the Winners

Del Norte

Avi Critz

Avi is dedicated to addressing gender inequity, gun violence, and environmental protection in Del Norte and Adjacent Tribal Lands. Since coming out four years ago, Avi has become a community advocate for LGBTQ youth using organizing, public speaking, video, radio, and mentoring as tools for change. Avi was a founding member of the Gay Straight Alliance at Del Norte High School, which discusses many issues facing high school students in the community.

The GSA has organized multiple events, including the annual Gay Prom to promote inclusivity and a school walk-out to protest gun violence and advocate for restorative practices in Del Norte high school. Additionally, Avi has participated in the gender talks program at Coastal Connections, which is a prevention-focused youth and young adult resource center. Avi’s passion lies in connecting with younger students and being a source of support and guidance as they navigate a conservative rural community.

Avi has worked to build strategic partnerships that will help to elevate the goals of local youth and bring them to the forefront of public discussion and into the presence of elected officials.