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Youth Advisory Board Mission

The mission of the North Dakota Health and Human Services (HHS) Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is to create a space for youth between the ages of 15-21 to make a difference in North Dakota communities by using peer influence to plan, implement and advise on meaningful projects and topics that will improve the health of North Dakota youth. The YAB provides an opportunity for young people to learn about, and put into action, community-wide planning as well as enhance leadership skills and responsibility.

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The Youth Advisory Board (YAB) will provide recommendations regarding youth health issues and topics to the North Dakota Health and Human Services agency. Board members will assist HHS in ensuring youth perspectives are incorporated in planning and decisions for the state, as well as forming community partnerships.

Youth Advisory Board Information

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Youth Advisory Board Information
Youth Advisory Board Charter

Youth Health Advisory Board Charter
Effective October 2023

The Youth Advisory Board (YAB) will provide recommendations regarding youth health issues and topics to North Dakota Health and Human Services (NDHHS). Board members will assist the NDHHS agency in ensuring youth perspectives are incorporated in planning and decisions for the state, as well as forming community partnerships.

The YAB will maintain the five core components listed below:

  • Be youth-led
  • Maintain consistent, structured meetings
  • Foster community building
  • Offer a space for youth to share their opinions on health-related matters
  • Describe the unique needs of the youth community
  • Focus on planning, implementing and reflecting on meaningful projects and topics to help improve the health of youth
Mission

The mission of the NDHHS YAB is to create a consistent environment for youth between the ages of 15-and 21 to make a difference in North Dakota communities by using peer influence to plan, implement and advise on meaningful projects and topics that will improve the health of North Dakota youth. The NDHHS YAB allows young people to learn about and implement community-wide planning and enhance leadership skills and responsibility.

Advisory Board Members

The board will consist of up to 20 individuals between the ages of 15 and 21 who reside in North Dakota. The YAB will consist of a diverse group of youth from various backgrounds, including ethnicity, race, age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ability and places of origin. All members must commit to at least two years of service to cultivate personal and professional growth. Depending on the member’s age, one additional year of service will be considered.

Members will
  • Gain community service hours throughout the program
  • Increase their knowledge of public health policies and concepts
  • Serve as advisors for NDHHS programs and staff regarding youth health-related matters
  • Provide recommendations for NDHHS’s role in enhancing the delivery of regional and local services to the youth community
  • Eliminate inequalities and barriers to success and improve health equity across the state
  • Consider how the needs of the youth population vary across different North Dakota communities
  • Advise NDHHS on the best strategies to actively seek written, electronic or oral community input on initiatives, policies and other activities
  • Serve as a platform for bringing community concerns to NDHHS
  • Provide recommendations on the mission, goals and objectives of the YAB
  • Meet once quarterly (four times per year)
  • Meetings will be online via Microsoft Teams at a date and time determined by the YAB
  • Receive a professional written recommendation upon two-year completion of service
Requirements
  • Applicants must be 15-21 years old and a North Dakota resident and/or attend a North Dakota college or university
  • Commit to attending and participating in 75% of bi-monthly meetings (except for June-August)
    • Meetings will be online via Microsoft Teams at a date and time determined by the YAB
    • If two unexcused meetings are missed, an email will be sent out stating removal from the YAB’s email list; an application to rejoin the board will be necessary
    • If unable to attend a meeting, please email the chair or state representative on board to be excused from the meeting
  • Attend an orientation session
  • Serve as a platform to bring community concerns to NDHHS
  • Act as an ambassador and advocate for youth, community and the YAB
  • Engage youth through discussion and leadership opportunities
  • Seek out and listen to other's opinions and experiences
  • Advise NDHHS on the best strategies to actively seek written, electronic or oral community input on initiatives, policies and other activities
Officers and Duties
Chair

The chair will oversee the board in collaboration with NDHHS and will assist in leading quarterly meetings. This position will be a two-year term, which all board members will vote on. This position will help maintain order at all meetings and serve as the liaison to other councils and other organizations as requested. If other committees are needed to carry out the duties of the board, the chair shall appoint standing or special committees. The chair will assist the NDHHS agency with meeting preparations, including the agenda development.

Co-Chair

The co-chair will assist the chair when needed and act as chair if the chair is absent. This position will take attendance at the meetings and provide notes/summaries of each meeting.

YAB Meetings

Board meetings will be held every quarter, four times a year, approximately one to two hours in length to maintain the support, interest and involvement of advisory board members. Effective and efficient meetings are critical to the success of the YAB. Meetings are where discussion and deliberation of important matters are translated into decisions and recommendations to the NDHHS. Guiding principles will be developed by the board after initial establishment, and input will be solicited on an ongoing basis when needed through email.
Meeting locations will be determined with input from board members; distance technologies including phone and virtual options will be used to allow members to participate who are unable to attend in person.

Voting

The board will make decisions by a majority vote, including the election for chair and co-chair. For a vote to occur, at least 2/3 of current members must be present to reach a quorum. If a vote is going to be made at a meeting, all board members will be notified at least two weeks before the meeting. Voting will be allowed in person and via email.