Youth Board

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 our Youth Board, a group of school health advocates from across California committed to the advancement of school-based health care. The Youth Board has continuously worked to provide technical assistance, advocate for school health policies and ensure that youth engagement is a priority locally, statewide, and nationally. Our Youth Board members bring experience in adolescent health, school health, and community organizing that energizes our commitment to youth voice in school health.

Meet the Youth Board 

Dakota Bodell

Dakota is serving her fourth year on the California School-Based Health Alliance Youth Board. She graduated from University of California, Berkeley in fall 2021 with a degree in Black Studies and minor in Conservation and Resource Studies. Dakota has attended legislative visits to advocate for legislative efforts that further health justice in California and created a pamphlet for youth to guide them through legislative visits in California. Further, Dakota has represented CSHA at an online conference where she presented on best practices to engage and serve youth to California educators. Dakota is excited to empower students and increase their access to quality healthcare with the help of the California School-Based Health Alliance.

Daniel Correa Bucio

Daniel is a fourth-year member of the Youth Board. Daniel is in his last year at the University of California, Berkeley, where he will graduate with a double major in Integrative Biology and Molecular Cellular Biology and a minor in Chicano Studies. Daniel is currently serving as the co-chair for Comunidad for Health Equity (CHE), the only Latinx centered pre-health organization on campus, where he aims to provide a space for Latinx students to feel empowered and ready for their healthcare professions and to be leaders in their communities. Additionally he is currently a member of La Unidad Latina Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity Inc., one of three Latinx fraternities on campus, priding itself on cultural celebration, academic excellence, brotherhood, and community service. He is also the Internal Vice President of the Fiat Lux Scholar Association, helping create community among the fiat lux scholars. He is also a research volunteer at the Cerebral Vascular Research Center at UCSF, working on a research project trying to determine the effectiveness of anti-angiogenic therapy for AVMs. Overall Daniel is an outdoor loving, sleeping in, going out to eat type of guy, who loves to learn about new cuisines and culture. Daniel is grounded in his Latinx culture and hopes to enter the medical field to be an ally for BIPOC communities. Lastly, Daniel tries to live by the motto of leaving every space better off then when he entered it.  

Maria Morales Gonzalez

Maria Morales is a first-year member of the Youth Board. Maria is a first generation Latinx student. Growing up in the Inland Empire, she noticed a lack of mental health resources and awareness. She is currently a student at Chaffey College, majoring in Business Administration, with hopes of later transferring to a four-year university in the spring. She is very passionate about 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.    

Andrea Gutierrez

Andrea is a third-year Youth Board member. She is currently a senior at California State University, Northridge. She is majoring in Public Health with a minor in Human Lactation. She chose a career in this field because it allows her to incorporate her love of teaching, research, and preventive medicine. Andrea is passionate about reproductive justice and health equity. She has created educational material for STD/STI prevention among adolescents. She has also implemented a virtual pilot test health education workshop due to the increased incidence of obesity in her community. She hopes to inspire youth to find their voice and become strong advocates for social change. Andrea is honored to be part of an organization that embraces and uplifts youth voice in accordance to their overall mission.

Nydia Hernandez

Photo of Nydia HernandezNydia is a second-year Youth Board member with the California School-Based Health Alliance. She is a full-time Family Coach, mother of two, and in her second year at Fresno City College. She recently changed her major to Child Psychology and Ethnic Studies. Being a young Latina parent, she has experienced many prejudiced events in her lifetime. Not only have those events made her who she is but they have shaped her desire to advocate for other young parents. She hopes that one day she may become a pillar of support and love for her community and her family.

Gabriella Herrera

Photo of Gabriella HerreraGabriella is a second-year member of the California School-Based Health Alliance Youth Board. She is currently a second-year student at the University of California, Berkeley, intending to major in Public Health and minor in Native American Studies. Gabriella is driven by a deep passion and sense for change and evolvement in the community. She is currently a Patient Scribe at UCSF and enjoys helping patients. Gabriella also wrote a letter to the California Board of Education to continue to provide the healthcare pathway and add more to the health sciences pathway for the new high school that was built in her community. She is passionate about serving her community. She has completed clinical hours at two senior living centers and is now a Certified Nursing Assistant. She hopes to graduate from Berkeley and attend a medical school to pursue her dream of becoming a pediatric cardiologist.

Christian Lizaso

Christian LizasoChristian is a first-year member of the Youth Board. He is currently a first-year student at the University of California, Berkeley, intending to major in Psychology and Public Health. He has worked throughout high school to further educate and 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.

Lujayn Megally

Lujayn is a second-year member of the Youth Board. She recently transferred to UCLA from community college and is pursuing a cognitive science degree. She hopes to pursue a career in medicine after earning her bachelor’s degree. At her community college, Lujayn got involved in several clubs. She was president of the Pre-Professional Health Club where she informed members of educational and social opportunities for learning about health career paths. She enjoys volunteering her free time at Saint Agnes Medical Center. Lujayn is passionate about making a positive impact in her community and advocating for the community’s physical and mental wellness. She hopes to one day be able to work towards her vision of making affordable healthcare accessible to all. Lujayn is excited to advocate for and empower students to gain increased access to healthcare resources with the support and help of the California School-Based Health Alliance.

Dina Mirmotalebisohi

Dina is a first-year member of the Youth Board. She is approaching her second 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 and the Iranian Student Association. In her free time, she volunteers in the emergency department 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.

Stephanie Ocampo

Stephanie is a second-year member of the Youth Board. She is a fourth-year student currently attending California State University, Fresno, double majoring in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science. Stephanie’s intense passion for education reform has led her to many great professional opportunities through her years in college, including political, news media, and non-profit internships. Part of her commitment to the Central Valley was her previous involvement in the Maddy Legislative Scholar Program and specifically, her work in the Fresno office of U.S. Senator Alex Padilla. For the past few months, Stephanie has independently worked on daily tasks that include compiling news clips, vetting, creating memos, conducting heavy research, and constituent casework. She has successfully outreached to elected officials, school districts, and universities as a representative of the Senator’s office. Stephanie hopes to take every experience into her passion for education.

Saivishnu Tulugu

Saivishnu is a first-year member of the Youth Board. He is in his second 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.

Meet Our Youth Engagement Associate

Irma Rosa Viera

Irma was formerly a part of the Youth Board for four consecutive years, and has now transitioned to an official staff as the new Youth Engagement Associate. As a new dog mom and avid learner she is returning for her senior year at California State University, Northridge with plans of obtaining a Bachelor’s in Deaf Studies and with plans of a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. Irma is passionate about youth voice and elevating the voices of youth across all of California to lead us into a better and HEALTHIER future. After seeing firsthand the impactful role that school-based health centers have on students and their communities as a whole, she is hopeful and excited to continue expanding health advocacy with the support and help of the California School-Based Health Alliance and its allies. But most of all, she is excited to begin this new year working even more closely with our Youth Board and supporting their hopes and aspirations for this coming school year.