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YAB 3/16/23| "Authentic Youth Collaboration


  • Our First in Person YAB meeting will be happening March 24th at 3pm at the Gallup YSFS Office

  • I have been handing out the supplies from the cold weather gear drive. Originally we planned to set up a table to hand out supplies but I want to make sure these supplies get dispersed while they are needed

  • The PSY Conference in NY is June 20th and 21st. Planning for this is in full swing

  • The Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness will be April 4th. Elijah and I will not be able to attend so I am hoping one or some of you might be willing to fill in for us?

Main Topics

The announcement about handing out jackets lead to some incredible “what ifs” like what if we did a gear exchange where people could trade in their bulky winter stuff for things like water bottles,sunscreen, new clothes etc. Also what if we got shelters and providers on board with seasonal exchanges.We also brought back our free box idea!

The term of the day was “Authentic Youth Collaboration”. The YAB said that authentic youth collaboration needs vulnerability and honesty, a group mentality and the ability to accept and value one another's opinions so that everyone is comfortable enough to speak up and speak out. We also clarified that the collaboration has to be within the group as well as with external partners. Collaboration requires respect and a level of symbiosis where both groups hold value and appreciation towards one another.

We found that the biggest barriers to authentic youth collaboration are education gaps,self doubt, lack of resources and networking and an us and them mentality.

We agreed that the YAB is a shining example of Authentic Youth Collaboration because our decisions have weight and have led to big policy changes within organizations like STAR and our reach has been statewide and we are a valued asset in important spaces like the EHCY state committee.

I asked the group how compensation impacts authentic youth collaboration. I could talk about this for hours so expect for this question to come up again. YAB said that being compensated shows us that we are valued and respected, It provides motivation and for some is the reason they are able to prioritize this work, sometimes YAB check are the only way some of us are able to eat that week, being compensated adds a sense of responsibility and makes the work we are doing feel less like an after school club and more like a job.

Sneak Peek at Next Week

We have developed quite a passion for projects! So we will be reviewing some of our successes and going over what ifs and ideas that have fallen off and by the end of the meeting we will have picked one to focus on!

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