2021 ‘Be the Change’ Youth Training Program

Week in Review

The ‘Be the Change’ Youth Training Program is an annual leadership development conference that connects young people from across the country with like-minded peers who are passionate leaders of change in their health centers, schools, and communities. During the program, participants learn about and discuss health and education topics, develop advocacy and leadership skills, and have fun through interactive, team-building activities. Through ‘Be the Change,’ we help youth recognize, enhance, and apply their talents and skills as influential, ethical leaders of youth-led, school-based health promotion. Designed and facilitated by SBHA’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC), this training program is for youth, by youth!

While our goal has always been to have youth-friendly and youth-informed content during ‘Be the Change,’ we expanded our approach and outreach this year. We reviewed responses to our Youth Development Survey and contacted organizations with active youth groups. We worked with Multnomah County Student Health CenterNovelly, and Peer Health Exchange, and they, in turn, worked with their respective youth councils and boards to create workshop content. Each youth-led session had a similar structure: highlight their work, use interactive activities to build relationships, and empower youth participants by sharing skills and knowledge so they can recreate the project or event in their respective communities.

We also worked with our own YAC to develop workshops, create marketing materials, and manage our social media. One of the workshops led by our YAC, “Youth Have Thoughts Too: The Key to Effective Youth-Based Discussions,” was open to both youth and adult attendees. There were 153 overall attendees during this meeting, and our youth presenters facilitated a great question and answer session.

As advocates for youth leadership, we have to echo Audrey’s words from above. We are impressed by the work that young people are doing across the country and inspired by the passion that drives them. We are incredibly thankful to the youth advocates and youth leaders that partnered with us to make ‘Be the Change’ a success.


Subscribe to our Youth Development Digest to stay informed on all related events, internships, and opportunities.


If you registered for a ‘Be the Change’ session, you will receive an email once the recordings are made available to the public. If not, the Youth Development Digest will announce when and where they will be available. Don’t forget to subscribe!


We also offer consulting services through technical assistance, trainings, and coaching for youth and adult audiences to:

  • Build or enhance organizational capacity and understanding of youth development principles and concepts.
  • Integrate youth development approaches into school-based health care programs and other child and adolescent health-focused initiatives.
  • Design and implement youth development programs and leadership opportunities (e.g., youth advisory councils, board leadership, conferencing, internships).
  • Connect to youth for message development, outreach and engagement strategies, research (e.g., focus groups, youth participatory action research (YPAR)), and program and product design.

Contact youthdevelopment@sbh4all.org to discuss ways to bring meaningful engagement to the youth leaders in your community.