Youth Engagement and the Youth Advisory Council

Coming Soon!

In December 2022, we will be inviting young people who live in Washington and are between the ages of 13 and 22 to apply to be a member of the Youth Advisory Council: Gen 2.  Check back soon for more details! If you'd like to receive emails about Youth Advisory Council activities, email us at adolescenthealthunit@doh.wa.gov


We value the insight, expertise, experiences and contributions of youth and young adults and believe they know what issues are important to them, and what solutions will work for them. We want to engage adolescents and young adults in program planning and implementation to ensure our public health strategies are relevant and accessible to them.

  • We're inviting young people to apply to be a member of a new Youth Advisory Council.
  • This council is a community engagement group that will guide our public health work. It will help ensure that our strategies are relevant, meaningful and accessible to young people.
  • We value the insight, expertise, experiences, and contributions of young people. You know what issues are important to you, and what solutions will work for you.

What is the Adolescent and Young Adult Health Youth Advisory Council - aka the YAC?

The Youth Advisory Council is a group of diverse young people from around Washington. They help the Department of Health learn about the public health topics that are important to young people.

What does the YAC do?

  • The YAC members meet online (on Zoom) every other month for about an hour and a half to share thoughts, opinions, advice and recommendations on important and current adolescent and young adult health topics, including reproductive health, physical health, mental health, and healthy relationships. Their ideas and recommendations are shared with relevant youth-serving partners, including key public health programs at the Department of Health and the Health Care Authority.
  • Members are also get to review and give feedback on adolescent health materials—like flyers and webpages - that will be shared with families and young people.

What do members get if they join the Youth Advisory Council?

  • They get to share their thoughts and ideas about how to improve healthcare for young people directly with public health experts.
  • They receive invitations from other DOH programs and other state agencies about other youth engagement opportunities.
  • They can earn volunteer or community service hours (through a third-party organization and only f permitted by the managing organization).
  • They all receive a $50 Amazon e-gift card after every meeting or activity they participate in.

What are the expectations of council members?

  • Help DOH staff maintain a safe space that is open to everyone, and inclusive of diverse people and their thoughts and opinions
  • Maintain confidentiality – this means not sharing sensitive/personal details outside of the meeting space
  • Commit to attending the first engagement meeting in March, and attending at least four of the remaining meetings
  • Be open and willing to discuss topics proposed by DOH staff
  • Share thoughts, opinions, advice, and recommendations
  • Be respectful of others as they share
  • Provide feedback on Adolescent Health materials, including social media posts, communications materials, and program documents
  • Represent the DOH YAC at community events, including schools and school districts, conferences, DOH meetings, etc.
  • Respond to communications within one week
  • Let DOH staff know right away if you can’t take part in the YAC anymore

Who can apply?

Applicants must:

  • Live in Washington
  • Be age 13-22
  • Have an interest in contributing to and improving public health and/or health care and services for young people in Washington
  • Have access to the internet, and the ability to use Zoom, social media, and email
  • For applicants under 18:
    • Have parent or guardian permission to take part
    • Have a trusted adult who can provide emotional and/or technical support during meetings (but does not have to attend meetings)
  • We encourage young people with these life experiences to apply:
    • Affected by disabilities 
    • Experiences with different systems, including juvenile justice, child protective services, or foster care
    • Experience with behavioral and mental health conditions and treatment
    • Experience with chronic disease conditions and treatment
    • Feeling left out at school or experiencing challenges at school
    • From marginalized and/or underserved communities
    • Experience with houselessness and/or unstable housing 
    • Struggles with access to or challenges with health care

How will applicants be selected?

  • After submitting an application, DOH staff and current YAC members will review and select up to 50 members based on the following:
    • Members must meet all eligibility requirements and agree to all expectations.
    • Inclusion of members from all different types of racial, ethnic, cultural, geographic, and income backgrounds.
    • We will prioritize including people for membership who identify as being part of a community that has been oppressed and underrepresented in public health, and those most affected by health care inequities
    • We will also select members based on where they live so the YAC represents many different parts of the state.

How can I learn more or apply?

More information coming in December! 

Contact the Adolescent Health Consultant for questions or more information.