The incoming 68 members, from across the country, aged 13-18, are currently participating in Summer Orientation, a 6-week health leadership readiness program, to learn about advocating for meaningful change in their communities.
Oakland, California, July 25, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Peer Health Exchange (PHE), a national nonprofit dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all young people, is gearing up for a new cohort to join the organization’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB). The incoming 68 members, from across the country, aged 13-18, are currently participating in Summer Orientation, a 6-week health leadership readiness program, to learn about advocating for meaningful change in their communities.
Launched in 2020, and representing young people of many diverse identities and regions, the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) plays a vital role in shaping PHE's initiatives and programs. YAB Members participate in foundational organization components such as interviewing the CEO and presenting in board meetings. “We collaborate on addressing community issues, organizing events, and advocating for youth rights. One of the highlights was presenting our ideas to companies who also support mental health,” says Youth Advisory Board Member Manpreet Kaur.
The Youth Advisory Board also works closely with PHE's leadership and Board to guide content and user-experience on PHE’s online platform selfsea.org, and evaluate and make recommendations on programming, curriculum design, and outreach strategies. Their contributions ensure that PHE's initiatives remain relevant, effective, and responsive to the needs of young people.
Dr. Angela Glymph, Chief Executive Officer of Peer Health Exchange, emphasized the importance of youth involvement in shaping services and supports, stating, "Traditionally, services and supports are built for young people rather than with them. We believe and have seen firsthand that youth are more engaged and more likely to adopt a practice or service they helped create. Promoting health equity is amplifying youth voices and their leadership." By sharing their insights and lived experiences, the members provide guidance and recommendations to further enhance the organization's impact on the communities it serves.
Mehak Saggu, a Community Health Advocate and Youth Brand Ambassador, experienced personal growth through PHE's programs, saying, "PHE provided various opportunities to develop and refine my leadership skills, which greatly influenced my growth. Through actively participating and collaborating with others in PHE, my leadership skills and self-assurance grew significantly."
“By creating spaces and opportunities for youth to lead and meeting them where they are, I've seen young people show up for themselves and each other, take initiative, problem-solve, and practice advocacy skills. I am always impressed by their commitment to health equity, their eagerness to connect and collaborate, and the activation of their own agency.” says Elle Quimpo, Manager of Youth Experience at PHE.
Peer Health Exchange’s commitment to youth involvement extends beyond the Youth Advisory Board. The organization actively engages peers and near-peers in its programs in high schools and online, empowering them to become leaders in their communities and advocates for their own health and well-being. For more information about PHE and its youth engagement work, visit www.peerhealthexchange.org.
About Peer Health Exchange:
Peer Health Exchange’s (PHE) mission is to build healthier communities with young people. Together, we create education opportunities for peers to share the tools and resources young people need to make healthy decisions. With our partners, we advance health equity and improve health outcomes for young people in under-resourced communities.