YAB Initiative

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child requires researchers to give due weight to youth voices on matters that impact them. The past year’s global events including the COVID-19 pandemic and the BLM movement augment the need to understand youth perspectives and experiences. Many researchers and clinicians value youth input, but lack the funds or staffing to develop a Youth Advisory Board (YAB). In turn, adolescents are in need of social connection, positive adult mentor relationships, and career exposure. 

Funding was provided to 15 YABs as initial support for investigators and clinicians.

Click each Youth Advisory Board to learn more:

Adolescent and Transition Medicine Patient Advisory Board

Program Description

Adolescent and Transition Patient Advisory Board Facilitators: Jessica Kahn, MD MPH, Susannah Grimes, APRN-CNP, Emmanuel Chandler, MD, Tanya Mullins, MD, Candice Elliott, Hannah Woods, LaKeshia Hyndman, MD

The goal of the ATM PAB is to build a diverse, sustainable patient-led advisory board supported by ATM faculty, fellows, trainees and staff.  Board members will give feedback on how to foster a youth-friendly environment in the Teen Health Center, assess methods for youth to successfully make the transition from adolescent to adult medical care, review resources, health guides and other educational materials, and engage in the development of clinical research in the Teen Health Center.

Board members will create connections with like-minded teens, form positive mentoring relationships with adults, earn community service hours and gain insight into future careers in healthcare and biomedical research.

GENECIS Youth Advisory Boar

Program Description
Heather Newby & May Lau

The purpose of the GENECIS (GENder Education and Care, Interdisciplinary Support) youth advisory board (YAB) is to improve the multidisciplinary care of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) youth by actively seeking the input of the youth we serve, as we continue to provide life-saving care within an increasingly hostile environment that often marginalizes the experiences of TGD youth. YAB ambassadors will provide suggestions, perspective, and real-life experiences regarding the current GENECIS services and programming and help us more effectively serve TGD youth and their families. The GENECIS YAB Ambassadors will provide an advisory role in crafting the vision, voice, and strategic direction of the GENECIS Program and services that we provide TGD youth in the community. 

Library Partnership Resource Center

Program Description

The Library Partnership Resource Center operated by Partnership for Strong Families and the Parent-based Prevention Lab in the Department of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences at the University of Florida are coming together to develop a Youth Advisory Board (YAB).  Our goals are a) to inform the development of a media parenting prevention program; b) to identify community strategies for mitigating the effects of online harassment and online racial discrimination based on recent interviews with teens about these topics; c) to engage in youth development activities that meet youth goals. The YAB will be guided by participatory values including a focus on strengths-based approach to the community, full-participation, joint responsibility in decision making, and inclusive solutions. 

Milwaukee Youth Wellness Initiative

Program Description
MYWIT Team Members: top row – July Pike, Frida Hamad, Dre Bishop
bottom row – Celeste Campos-Castillo, Linnea Laestadius

Our team based at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will start the Milwaukee Youth Wellness Initiative on Technology (MYWIT), which is a youth advisory board comprised of high school aged students from communities of color in Milwaukee. Youth advisors will 1) identify priorities for a research program focused on understanding the non-medical use of artificial intelligence (e.g., chatbots, machine learning) to provide mental health support to adolescents; and 2) participate in professional development opportunities to pique their interest in researcher careers. The board’s activities are designed to address issues of inclusivity and racial and ethnic bias within the research area and the underrepresentation of communities of color within research careers.

National Youth Advisory Board

Program Description
Claudia-Santi F. Fernandes, Ed.D., LPC, MCHES, NCC

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Fernandes will launch a National Youth Advisory Board (YAB) to promote mental health and well-being among youth and to normalize seeking and accessing mental health resources. The YAB will run parallel alongside Dr. Fernandes’s research project entitled “A videogame targeting suicide prevention in adolescents with lifetime prescription opioid misuse” where the YAB will review and provide input on various stages of the scientific process. In addition, the YAB will launch social media campaigns, prepare blogs, and receive training in research, mental health topics, and college and career readiness.  

REACH YAB

Program Description
Rachel Vaughn-Coaxum, PhD, Jessica Hamilton, PhD, Dr. Hannah Lawrence, Dr. Alex Bettis, Kathryn Fox

The Recognizing and Enhancing Adolescent and Community Health Youth Advisory Board (REACH YAB) is a collaborative effort by five early career researchers and clinical psychologists to address limitations of research on adolescent depression and self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITB). Adolescents (N=10) who have lived experiences with depression and/or SITBs will be recruited to guide our research and to inform best practices for creating and implementing a YAB. We aim for the REACH YAB to (1) design novel studies, from inception to dissemination, that are important to members; (2) provide psychoeducation about mental health; (3) provide professional opportunities (e.g., conferences, learning about research); and (4) foster communication and trust with community members and stakeholders to further amplify perspectives of those with lived experience.

Seattle Children’s Youth Advisory Board

Program Descripition

We are a team of researchers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the University of Washington, and Seattle University working towards building sex education resources for transgender and gender expansive (TGE) youth. We are engaging a Youth Advisory Board (YAB) to co-design a fully functional online interactive sexual education tool designed to support TGE youth in developing healthy romantic and sexual relationships and reduce disproportionate sexual health risks. Our work will result in the first evidence-and-strengths based online sexual health intervention for TGE youth. Find out more about our team here.

Southern Center for Adolescent and Young Adult Health Equity

Program Description
Colleen Bodet, APRN, FNP, Mary Pendleton, Ryan H. Pasternak, MD, MPH, Renette Jones, BSN, RN, Kathleen Stevens, LCSW

The Southern Center for Adolescent and Young Adult Health Equity at LSU Health Sciences Center provides community care to adolescents via a School Based Health Center located at New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School and also serving The Living School. School Based Health aims to meet young people where they are at, increase access, reduce disparities in health care, and keep students in class. We’re excited to build a youth advisory board to provide mentorship to students and support our work in schools!

Teenovate Youth Advisory Board

Program Description
Back row: Isabella Faile, Hussain Khan, Neeraj Chatlani, Afsaneh Razi. Front row: Naulsberry St. Jean Baptiste, Zainab Agha, Dr. Pamela Wisniewski, Karla Badillo-Urquiola

The Teenovate Youth Advisory Board is a proposed board composed of teenagers in the Orlando, Florida area, affiliated with the Socio-Technical Interaction Research (STIR) lab at the University of Central Florida. Their objective will be to go beyond engaging teens as end-users and research participants, to have them steer and shape the designs and end-goals of the STIR Lab’s research programs, which focus on technological online safety solutions that empower youth. This diverse group of teens will work together with our researchers to provide feedback on proposed research studies, working to make them more teen-centered, while gaining valuable experience in the concepts of User Experience research and Human-Centered Computing.

Transgender and Gender Expansive (TGE) Youth Advisory Board

Program Description

We are a team of researchers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the University of Washington, and Seattle University working towards building sex education resources for transgender and gender expansive (TGE) youth.  We are engaging a Youth Advisory Board (YAB) to co-design a fully functional online interactive sexual education tool designed to support TGE youth in developing healthy romantic and sexual relationships and reduce disproportionate sexual health risks.  Our work will result in the first evidence-and-strengths based online sexual health intervention for TGE youth.  Find out more about our team here.  

Trans Youth Improving Care in Western New York

Program Description
Samantha Myers, Sam Treshome, Jamie Mehringer, Tresne Hernandez

Trans Youth Improving Care in Western NY brings together youth from throughout the vast geographic region of Western NY served by the Gender Health Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center, aiming to provide feedback to improve the quality of gender affirming health services for youth, guide community outreach efforts to   better meet the needs of trans and gender diverse youth in the region, and to advise and partner in research.

UCSF Division of Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine

Program Description

UCSF Division of Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine Team Members: Veronika Mesheriakova, Kathleen Tebb, Lisa Mihaly

The UCSF Division of Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine is looking forward to partnering with youth in our community to improve the delivery of important clinical services in a way that acknowledges their unique perspectives and needs. In engaging youth, we hope to empower and inspire them to become community leaders in health and to lead the charge toward a new and improved system of care.

Young Adult and Adolescent Learning & Leadership (Y’ALL): Gender Minority Youth Advisory Board

Program Description
Jack Borucki, Katie Boguszewski, Claire Romaine

Our Youth Advisory Board will partner with gender minority youth to address gaps in research and clinical services for gender minority youth and seeks to develop guidelines for other researchers seeking to include gender minority youth in similar projects within a health system/health research. 

Youth, Media, and Wellbeing

Program Description

The Youth, Media, & Wellbeing Research Lab conducts research and action programs designed to understand how digital media is related to adolescent and emerging adult wellbeing. Our inaugural Youth Advisory Board (YAB) consists of 8 middle school, high school, or college-aged youth who inform the development of the lab’s STEM & Digital Wellbeing Summer Workshop. As former workshop attendees or co-facilitators, this experience gives YAB members the opportunity to provide feedback on proposed developments to the week-long summer program, collaborate with researchers and other peers while engaging in personal development opportunities (graphic design skills, networking, public speaking, near-peer mentorship).