I fell in love with Hopelab’s mission and work when I started working as an intern in June of 2018. As someone stepping into the spotlight of her first career, I couldn’t believe this was the place I would be learning and growing from; a place dedicated to serving populations of young people, all with different health challenges. From a lonely college student, which I once could relate to, to young mothers, to adolescent and young adult cancer survivors, this really was the most fascinating place, with the most wonderful people. As a young person who had faced her own health adversities alongside her teen sister who was diagnosed with a chronic illness at the age of five, it’s inspiring to be working for an organization that is beyond dedicated to impacting the health of teens. So when I was asked to become a full-time employee, I jumped at the opportunity to help spread impact among my peers.
What it’s it like to be a young person today? As an organization, we ask this question a lot. When it comes to human-centered design, we do our best to connect directly and relate with the populations that we are building for. And as a young person myself, (or at least I think 24 still falls into the range of young adult — I still use slang and acronyms in my speech when I am having a conversation LOL). I love contributing to projects and presenting my view of what a young person would say about that element of a chatbot or react to the slang used in our social connection platform. But at the same time, I wished there were more voices in the room contributing their youth perspectives about our products and future work. After all, we are an organization that serves youth; shouldn’t they be in the room where all the decisions are being made?
As we prepare to launch into the next phase of innovation, Hopelab wondered, how could we involve young people more deeply in the impact work we are trying to accomplish? How could we amplify their voices in our products and how do we involve them in creating work that directly impacts their communities?
After a year of planning and prep, Hopelab is excited to announce our first-ever Young Adult Advisory Council. Because who better to tell us what it’s to be a young person today, than young people themselves? Hopelab’s Young Adult Advisory Council (YAAC) will help guide our work by offering their perspectives from the different communities they serve through discussion, research, and active planning. We are excited to welcome this group of 10 young people into our community, and in return, learn from the communities they directly represent and learn about what matters most to them.
Stay tuned for more updates on what the YAAC is up to by signing up for our newsletter. For more on the council, check them out here.