2014 Youth Conferences Focus on Health Careers

LAUSD high school students at the Y2Y SoCal conference on March 28.

LAUSD high school students at the Y2Y SoCal conference on March 28.

More than 120 youth from Northern and Southern California attended two separate conferences in March and April that focused on educating high school students about careers in health care. All participants are active members of the youth advisory boards at their school-based health centers.

See our photos from Los Angeles and Oakland.

Youth advisory boards provide students with leadership opportunities through peer health education, school and community advocacy programs, and health care internships and jobs. We developed these one-day conferences in partnership with the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the California Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development in order to cultivate an interest in health care careers in youth who are served by school-based health centers. Our goal is for students who benefit from school-based health care to pursue a career as a health care provider in order to better serve the needs of California’s kids.

Students speak with adults who are pursuing careers in public health.

Students speak with adults who are pursuing careers in public health.

In Los Angeles, 60 LAUSD high school students learned about health care careers and public health challenges that affect their communities, all while meeting fellow youth advisory board members from other schools. The L.A. Trust helped us organize the March 28 conference, which was hosted by The California Endowment at their beautiful downtown L.A. headquarters.

In Oakland, we brought together 66 students from high schools in Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, and San Jose. The April 9 NorCal conference was also graciously hosted by The California Endowment at their Oakland conference center. Students participated in the following activities throughout the day:

  • A keynote address by Dr. Tomás A. Magaña, founder and Director of the FACES of the Future Coalition.
  • Panel conversations with adults who are either pursuing a career in public health or already practicing. Panelists included two physicians, a medical assistant pursuing a nursing degree, a family nurse, and two health educators.
  • An overview of mental health disorders presented by NAMI California.
  • A workshop on how to advocate for healthier school lunch choices, presented by the Youth Wellness Team at Oakland Tech High School.
  • Workshops on public speaking and applying to medical school, presented by our Youth Board.
  • A health career resource fair staffed by the Alameda County Health Pipeline Partnership.

Our 2014 conferences build on our successful 2013 events and are a continuation of our work to develop the capacity of school-based health center youth advisory boards. Are you interested in learning how you can build youth engagement at your school-based health center? Contact us to learn more.

Statewide Youth Gatherings Boost Skills, Leadership

Y2Y-SoCal-AttendeesWe brought together nearly 200 high school students and more than 60 adult allies during two Youth-2-Youth (Y2Y) conferences — one in Oakland on February 13 and one in Los Angeles on April 5. The gatherings increased leadership skills for youth peer-to-peer health educators from high schools in Northern and Southern California.

In mid-February our Y2Y Network hosted Y2Y NorCal in Oakland that was attended by 105 people — including 75 youth and 30 adult allies — from 18 high schools in the greater Bay Area. Y2Y SoCal was held April 5 in Los Angeles and brought together 101 youth and 31 adult allies from six high schools, with adult allies also representing several health care and health justice organizations in the L.A. region.

NorCal Photos | NorCal Video | SoCal Photos

Y2Y NorCal Symposium 2013Both events were well organized by our Youth Board. The NorCal conference was hosted by The California Endowment at their beautiful facility overlooking downtown Oakland, while the SoCal event was held at the Children’s Bureau’s cheery and art-filled Magnolia Place Family Center in South Los Angeles.

Youth participants attended workshops aimed at increasing public speaking skills, getting a better understanding of the impact popular culture has on public health, developing leadership skills, learning about pathways to pursuing a higher education in public health, and maximizing their impact as community leaders.

Adult allies attended workshops aimed at leveraging their strengths as coordinators, as well as building greater public visibility for their health centers and their youth-led programs.

Visit our Y2Y Network page for more information and to see a summary of past activities.


In this video taken during Y2Y NorCal, students share why their school-based health centers are making a difference:

Youth Board Spotlight(s): Patty Albor & George Chacon

In this edition of the Youth Board Spotlight series, we decided to do something different. Instead of only highlighting one current or former Youth Board member, we here at the Youth in Action page wanted to interview two! And who best to interview than… ourselves?
My name is George Chacon, and I have been the administrator of sorts for the Youth in Action page. I have been part of the Youth Board since its inception back in 2007 to 2009. Afterwards, I was the Youth Board co-coordinator with Denise Felix and then later on with Kathleen Gutierrez, the current coordinator. I graduated from UCLA in 2010 with a BA in International Development Studies and a minor in Education Studies. Currently, I’m finishing my second year in Public Allies Los Angeles.
My fellow colleague with the Youth in Action page is Patty Albor. Patty has been helping me with the content: emailing and interviewing our amazing current and former Youth Board members, brainstorming ideas for the page, and reminding me of my duties! She’s been with the Youth Board since 2008 (4 years) and will be starting her fifth year at Fresno State. She’s currently pursuing a degree in Social Work.
George: So, hi Patty!
Patty: Hi George. Ready to get this started?
George: Born ready, hit me with the first question!
Patty: Ok then, what have you been doing after leaving the Youth Board careerwise?
George: So, after the Youth Board (which is also after graduating from UCLA) I was accepted in this Americorps program called Public Allies in Los Angeles. The program was a training program for leaders from the community to learn about the non-profit sector and leadership skills to be highly effecting in the non-profit world. Along with the trainings, I was placed, full-time, at LA Conservation Corps, where I assist young men and women with their resumes and job search. So, Ms. Albor, what made you go into Social Work as your main field of study?
Patricia: I was initially in the Physical Therapy Program but I decided to change my major. Even though in Physical Therapy I would be interacting with people, I wanted to work somewhere where I would be helping people in a different way. I see myself working for social welfare. I am not sure what part of Social Work I want to be a part of but I know I want to be in this field where I will be working for the welfare of the community and its people.
George: Awesome dude.
Patricia: Thanks! So, there are so many organizations out there. What made you want to be part of CSHC?
George: I was involved with this school heath care movement since I was in high school. I remember heading to Sacramento for the Policy Leadership Program where I learned about how our state government works when it comes to passing bills. The bill we high school students were going to advocate and lobby for was to increase the funding and building of new school health centers across the state. During these retreats, I was introduced to CSHC and loved the vision and the people who worked there. My good friend, and current CSHC Youth Board Coordinator, Kathleen Gutierrez, contacted me when she got hired by them to start a Youth Board across California. So, I thought, why not? CSHC is a great organization and has made this issue a really important one for me during high school. So I decided to give some of my time to it as a Youth Board participant, then as a co-coordinator, and now just providing any help I can!
Patricia: Awesome answer!
George: Haha, thanks! So for your next question – What is one, or some, of your greatest memories working for the Youth Board (or CSHC in general) in the time you were with them?
Patricia: It is not necessarily one memory. Besides all the great work that has been done, the most memorable thing has been that the Youth Board and CSHC has offered me a second family. This is something more in the personal level but it is something that I will always be thankful for. When I am doing work with the Youth Board and we just hang out I feel so comfirtable and I know I can be myself with no judgment from anyone. They make me feel so comfortable and have helped me in my personal growth by reminding me why I am a valuable person. I have to say that all those appreciations after our meetings have made such a huge impact in my life!
George: Great answer Patty! I’m pretty amazed right now.
Patricia: So Mr. Chacon, what is some advice you would give to all those youth that are entering this field (public health or related fields)?
George: Oh, that’s a tough question. Let me see… My advice would be to not let society or anyone dictate what you can or cannot do. We live in a world where we ask, sometimes demand, children and youth to know what they should be when they grow up to be adults. As of right now, a college grad and two years of work experience under my belt, I still don’t know what I want to do – but that’s OK. We shouldn’t rush into our careers without exploring what’s out there and understanding who we are. True, there are factors that lead us to decide quickly, we all got bills to pay. But please, do not make that the only factor to get in a field. Do what makes you happy.
Patricia: That is some great advice.
George: Well, you know. Thank you though! So to wrap this up: Patty, what will you take away from your time in the Youth Board – what’s the message that you will take with you in your future?
Patricia: I will take so many memories and great experiences. I have learned that working together is very powerful. We need to fight for what we believe and never let anything put us down. There are so many great people that are willing to help us and there are other people fighting for the same things. Every single person in this work is very important and when I leave I will be confident that I made a difference and everyone else has too!
George: YEE! Great stuff yo! Patty, thank you for working with me with this page. It’s because of you that this work has been so fun for this long!
Patricia: Thank you for allowing me to work with you. It’s been great getting to know more about you and the others! I have to agree with you, this has been fun!
George: And before we go – I want to ask a silly question. Favorite movie seen this year and why?
Patricia: Mmm let me think… meanwhile you can answer that question for me :)!
George: Ugh, sure. haha. It definitely has to be… MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS! Why? Well why not? It has action, comedy, great character development… AND THE HULK!! Come on – who didn’t find this movie to be exciting. Plus, ROBERT DOWNEY JR! That is all. That’s all she wrote. Dropped mic.
Patricia: Mine is Ted!!! lol jk I haven’t watched it lol! I cant remember what movies I have watched besides Men in Black 3! I think Will Smith goes great with comedy and action… And from the non-recent movies I would have to say… mmm, I love comedy movies, I cannot just pick one because I love to laugh! Oh you know what?! When I was a little kid I used to think Kung Pow was so funny! I have no idea why because now I watch it and I wonder what I was laughing at. Haha.
George: Haha! I thought Kung Pow was funny too, back then. Cannot go through it right now. Well it seems that it’s time to end this super awesome chat/interview of ours. It’s been a pleasure, Patty. 😀 Here’s to another year for the CSHC Youth Board!!
Patricia: I feel honored :). Cheers with a cup of water!

Youth Board Spotlight: Dale Maglalang

Dale Maglalang is in his third year with the Youth Board and is doing big things! Hailing from sunny Los Angeles, Dale has been involved in the health care access movement since his high school years in John Marshall High School. He was involved with the school’s Student Advisory Board for the School Health Center and a Youth Representative at the Asian Pacific Health Care Venture. Now at age 22, he is double majoring in Human Development (BS) and in Asian American Studies (BA) at the University of California, Davis. He is currently the Youth Board representative for Cesar Chavez High School in the Central Valley. Although we know A LOT about him, we decided to ask him a few questions to get to know the REAL Dale Maglalang!

What are your aspiring plans after college?

I have two options; hopefully I can attend a graduate program to earn my Masters in Public Health focusing on Health Education or Behavioral Science. My other option is to postpone going to graduate school for a year and work with a non-profit organization or AmeriCorps dealing with public health amongst underrepresented communities.

What are some of your hobbies?

Reading books, attempting to cook, catching up on sleep, and movie/television marathons

What is your favorite movie and why?

A Walk to Remember, not because it’s the greatest movie of all time but because I watched the movie with my mom and it’s one of those moments where I was able to spend quality time with her because I don’t get to see her as often anymore.

If you would be a rapper, what would your rap name be?

D-nasty! Just kidding.

How did the Youth Board impact your life/career?

Being part of Youth Board reminded me why I am pursuing public health as my career. I enjoy being working in a team/family and having the opportunity to work with a designated site to help the youth there either start their own school-based health center, provide workshops on youth engagement, and other workshops that is needed. In addition, being able to travel to Washington DC and Chicago to lead youth tracks is such an empowering experience for me because I deem it necessary to mentor the younger generation and help them succeed.

What is your most memorable experience in the Youth Board?

One of my most memorable experience in Youth Board was earlier this year at the statewide conference for CSHC. I was given the opportunity to speak in front of 400 attendees and talk about my experiences as a youth board member along with a high school student from Stockton, CA. It was a humbling experience and it brought me back to my high school days when I was interning at my high school’s school-based health center, it reminded me how far I’ve come.

Thanks Dale and thank you for your time and commitment to the CSHC Youth Board these past three years! And please visit the Youth Board page to get more info of the current youth board members!

Garfield Y2Y Youth Prep for Final Presentation

On May 17, Youth Board member Daniel Yim met with six young student leaders in Garfield High School. Daniel was helping them prepare the data that they have collected in the last month on the accessibility of Garfield’s school based health center.

Along with prepping the data, Daniel also made them practice their speaking points in order for them to take the data to the Garfield school administrators to get the school health center be more accessible to the students. “Essentially, when I said that I wanted everyone to be prepared to share/speak to administrators they all gasped, WHAT?” said Daniel about the students’ reaction to what they needed to do to present the data. Daniel explained that the students are enthusiastic about the opportunity and he will be meeting with them regularly to assist them with the presentation and other goals that they want to reach.

The student leaders will meet with school administrators on Monday, June 4th.

Youth Board Alumni Spotlight: Denise Felix

Denise Felix was one of the 5 founding members of the Youth Advisory Board in 2007 and was a member until 2009. For ’09-’10, she was one of the Youth Advisory Board co-coordinators. All the while she was majoring in Public Health at UC Berkeley. She is now currently working for the US Department of Agriculture in food safety assessment. We caught up with her and asked her a few questions!

What are some of your hobbies?

I like to sing in the car. I like to hang out with my friends. I like to watch movies. I like to eat, especially at new restaurants. I am very active in my church. I like to teach young people in the catechism of the Catholic Church.

What is your favorite inspirational quote? 

“Intense love does not measure. It just gives.” – Mother Teresa

How did the Youth Board impact your life/career?

Being part of the Youth Board gave me a greater understanding of how communities can be involved in their own transformation. My experience also taught me that there are many factors to consider when working to change policy. Most of all, I learned that building relationships with the people we work with and the people we serve is the most crucial part of grassroots-type policy advocacy. When we walk together, we thrive together. I have carried this wisdom with me in my daily life.

What is a fun fact about you?

I have a brown belt in Shou Shu Martial Arts.

What is your most memorable experience in the Youth Board? 

The very first meeting! At the retreat center, we sat by the fire, shared stories that inspired each other, and envisioned the role of the Youth Board for years to come!

We would like to thank Denise for giving up some of her time to answer our questions! And stay tuned as we shine a spotlight on former and current Youth Board members in the upcoming weeks!

Student Coalition Gets to the ROOTS

Students from Richmond and De Anza High Schools discuss health hot spots throughout the Bay

Throughout the months of March and April, members of the West Contra Costa Unified School District Student Coalition (link to page) have participated in a series of workshops entitled “Space MATTERS.” Facilitated by University of California, Berkeley students Cynthia Karina Leon and Becky Lee, the coalition members analyzed systemic health issues and decades-old policies that have led to disparate health outcomes for low-income communities throughout the Bay Area. For more information on the “Space MATTERS” workshop series, please contact Kat Gutierrez at kgutierrez@schoolhealthcenters.org.

First Statewide Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) Conference

The first statewide Y2Y Conference in Sacramento was held in conjunction with our statewide conference. The Y2Y Conference hosted 31 students from nine high schools across the state that are part of CSHC’s Y2Y Program. Our Y2Y sites shared their current youth-led research projects on topics such as teen pregnancy, school safety, mental health services, and SBHC usage. The youth also participated in School Health Day at the Capitol, and many made their first legislative visits ever.

Basic Skills Workshop @ Kennedy High School

A few weeks ago I organized a workshop specifically aimed at some skills that I felt that my youth team needed to improve on. The Kennedy High School Youth Board, Yvette, Bianca and myself were amongst those who were in attendance. The workshop ran for about 2 hours in length; it was followed by lunch. In the workshop I covered topics like:  public speaking, goal setting and the importance of teamwork. They felt like they needed to learn about these skills because these are skills that they will be implementing in a few months.
REFLECTIONS: At the end of my workshop, I felt good knowing that my site understood what I was trying to get across to them. It was important to me that they understood the information and i felt that I did a good job.
By Bre’Onna Wills,