Mission Statement: The California School-Based Health Alliance Youth Board aims to amplify youth engagement and access to school-based health through leadership, advocacy, and empowerment throughout California.
In 2007, five young people formed the California School-Based Health Alliance (CSHA) Youth Board, a group of school health advocates from across California committed to the advancement of school-based health care, empowered by their lived experiences with adolescent health, school health, and community roots.
Today, our Youth Board members continue to advocate for youth’s voice to be integrated into CSHA’s mission, projects, and building further opportunities for School-Based Health Centers to strengthen their commitment to implementing youth leadership, voice, and experiences.
Our Youth Board draws inspiration and knowledge from their lived experiences to create and take part in various projects that promote health literacy, education, and resources for youth across California. These projects are part of their goals of cultivating more youth leadership, engagement, and empowerment.
Presenting a Sexual Health Educational Webinar
Christian Lizaso and Nydia Hernandez planned a youth-only webinar on sexually transmitted infections and one of them moderated the presentation that was attended by youth from across the country.
Curating Tobacco Use Prevention Education Resources
Daniel Correa Bucio researched youth-friendly tobacco and vaping prevention and cessation resources to create a linktree, where youth, parents, and educators can find more information and get help. He also highlighted some of these resources with an infographic posted on our Instagram page.
Sharing the Concept of Consent on Social Media
Dakota Bodell led a social media campaign on consent to define this important concept for young people and lead them to resources and Title X clinics where they can find additional information and care
Explaining the Menstrual Cycle
Gabriella Herrera created a printable pamphlet that provides quick facts on menstrual periods and can be shared at school-based health centers and in classrooms across California.
Raising Awareness with TAY Radio Marin
Daniel Correa Bucio was interviewed by two youth radio hosts and shared information about school-based health centers, mental health resources, and his personal experiences as a Youth Board member.
Testifying in Support of SBHCs in Sacramento
Stephanie Ocampo joined CSHA Policy Director Lisa Eisenberg to testify in support of AB 1940, our bill to update and improve California’s School-Based Health Center Support program.
Spotlighting Student Mental Health Challenges for Educators
Irma Rosa Viera – CSHA’s Youth Engagement Association and a former Youth Board member – presented on COVID-19’s effects on students’ mental health and academics at the 2022 Southern Regional Student Wellness Conference for educators. She used her Youth Board project as the base of her presentation to teach adult allies how they can help youth.
Youth Board members toured three school-based health centers (SBHCs) in California to better understand how they serve students, specifically through engaging youth in health education and outreach.
Youth Board members got to see how SBHCs serving youth in Los Angeles, the Central Valley, and the Bay Area leverage local partnerships to serve youth. On a personal level, this was the first time since the pandemic started that many of the Youth Board got to gather in person and bond as a group.
Nancy Aguilar is a writer, artist, advocate, and a first-year Youth Board member from Fresno, CA with over five years of youth advocacy work experience. She is also a youth member for the Youth Leadership Institute (YLI), where she is a part of many Fresno-based and statewide programs. Nancy has worked on multiple public service announcements and campaigns that highlight prevention efforts for underage drinking, smoking, substance use, and gambling. Being a part of the HOPE youth coalition, a statewide YLI program, she participated in advocacy efforts to address the harmful presence of alcohol and substance advertisements on social media. Her art can be seen published in multiple zine and publication art covers for YLI. Nancy also had the opportunity to participate at the Mental Health Matters Day press conference at the California State Capital, where she presented the impacts of social media on youth’s mental health and provided recommendations to address these issues alongside State Assembly member Buffy Wicks, and California’s First Lady Jennifer Siebel Newsome. Nancy hopes to continue pursuing her passion for both art and advocating for youth’s mental health.
Yetzi Garcia-Martinez is a first-year Youth Board member and a first-generation college student. She is currently a second-year student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she intends to double-major in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science. On her campus, she serves as the Public Affairs Chair of the Neuroscience Research Club. Yetzi has also been active in her community, serving as a Peer Health Promoter for Novato Teen Clinic and teaching local youth about mental health and wellbeing. Additionally, she has interned with the Center for Domestic Peace as a part of their Marin Against Youth Abuse program, and as a college intern, she advocated for domestic violence awareness in young adults. From 2020 to 2021, Yetzi was also a part of UCSF’s Youth Advisory Board, where she collaborated on a project that increased reproductive healthcare knowledge. With her experience, Yetzi has seen the influence that youth voices can have in healthcare settings and is inspired to create impactful change on youth accessibility to quality healthcare.
Christian is a third-year member of the Youth Board. He is also currently a third-year student at the University of California, Berkeley, intending to major in Public Health and Integrative Biology. He has worked throughout high school to further educate, provide, and create resources towards destigmatizing mental health. He aspires to serve individuals directly affected by mental health disorders, as well as providing aid for their support systems. In organizations, such as Paper Crane at Berkeley and Catalyst, he has provided art therapy for hospitalized children, researched determinants of health, and raised funds towards therapeutic resources. As a proud gay Filipino-American, his intersectional identities have produced an understanding, compassionate, and open mindset motivated to serve and uplift others. Christian plans to have a career in the medical field and contribute to the larger field of scientific discovery.
Dina is a third-year member of the Youth Board. She is approaching her fourth year at the University of California, Riverside, majoring in Biology and intending to minor in Public Policy. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree, she plans to continue pursuing an education and career in medicine. Dina stumbled upon her passion for public health throughout the years as a result of working with and interning for groups such as the Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health as a Policy Intern. She has also worked with other groups such as Diversify Our Narrative and the Miles Hall Foundation, which aim to create an inclusive, intersectional, and equitable environment within K-12 schools. She is also a dedicated member of her university’s Associated Students Program Board, University Blood Initiative, and the Iranian Student Association. In her free time, she volunteers at a free clinic or in the cardiovascular unit at Riverside Community Hospital. It is within these groups that she is reminded of the drive that pushes her to continue studying medicine. Dina’s advocacy efforts are driven by her own Treacher Collins Syndrome and unyielding belief that adequate health care is a human right and must be accessible for all.
Maria Morales Gonzalez
Maria Morales is a third-year member of the Youth Board. Maria is a first generation Latinx student. She recently transferred to California State University, San Bernardino, from Chaffey College in Spring 2023 to major in Political Economy. Growing up in the Inland Empire, she noticed a lack of mental health resources and awareness. As such, she is very passionate about mental health education and policy. She volunteered at her local library and after school programs throughout high school. At her local library, she helped set up community events for special holidays and volunteered in the summer literacy program. During her time volunteering in after school programs, she tutored students and helped the after school coordinators. She looks forward to advocating for mental health resources and services in schools as well as making them accessible to everyone.
Taaliyah Tucker is in her 1st year as a Youth Board member for the California School-Based Health Alliance. She is eager to support and tap into her creative side to ensure her voice and other youth voices are heard by lawmakers. She is currently attending her 2nd year of community college at the Los Angeles Technical Trade College (LATTC) majoring in Culinary Arts to bridge cooking with mental health awareness. During high school, she worked to take her leadership skills to the next level by joining youth groups and programs such as the Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health – Student Advisory Board. During this time she helped support her community by joining Roundtable Talks that discussed ways to improve LAUSD schools and communities. Taaliyah believes that health engagement is important for teens and young adults alike, so she’s here to work and let her voice be heard!
Saivishnu is a third-year member of the Youth Board. He is in his third year at the University of California, Irvine, intending to major in Public Health and minor in Chicano/Latino studies. He is passionate about health and social justice and the importance of addressing structural barriers to health in underserved communities. In high school, he co-founded Break the Outbreak Inc to address the PPE shortage in his community and provide essential protection equipment to small businesses and vulnerable individuals. At UC Irvine, Saivishnu is involved with organizations such as The Free Clinic Project and Fresh Basic Needs Hub, to put his passion for community service and health justice into tangible change within his community. He is also involved with clinical research at the Akbari Lab studying neurological recovery in post-cardiac arrest rat models to better understand the implications of global ischemia. After graduating, Saivishnu hopes to attend medical school and pursue a career in interventional cardiology, to bridge his interests in patient care, public health, and research.