Being 22 years old and co-coordinating the National youth Advisory board seemed a bit intimidating at first. Thank God for the support of the project team and the amazing NYAB crew, I was no longer intimidated by the role and quickly realized how much of this role is collaborative and a great way to meet awesome youth and really cool academics! Needless to say, my role as national youth co-coordinator has been a true blessing and a true honour.
We're going into year 3 of the project
The NYAB has been together for almost 1.5 years now. We've had 13 conference calls to date, and continue to have these calls once a month. We've met once in Montreal at a team meeting, and now we will be reuniting in Toronto for a team meeting with the larger research team! What's even more exciting is that we've had three new members join our NYAB family since we last met and we are still accepting members.
It has been exciting to watch our team grow and to see all the diversity: in age, race, sexual identity, life paths and uniqueness. They all bring a fresh youth friendly perspective to the project that makes work so much fun!
I think it's a genius idea to have youth so involved in the research from the beginning; boarding and co-coordinating with the researchers/academics and community partners.
About the Author:
Aliaa El Tayeb is a student at Western University in London, ON, and a youth-community developer for the City of London and the Boys and Girls Club. She believes in the importance of engaging youth in ways that allow young people to tell their stories. Alia holds experience as co-researcher and facilitator in previous Voices research groups, and for the Lives of Girls project, which also used PAR methodologies.