What is the Youth Community Advisory Board (YCAB)?
The purpose of a community advisory board (CAB) is to seek input from community representatives on the research and work being done at The Fenway Institute. The YCAB is unique because its membership consists specifically of youth and young adults who help advise Fenway on issues that affect youth at risk for, or infected with, HIV, as well as on other public health issues related to research, such as mental health and substance use.
What does the YCAB do?
YCAB members attend a retreat to get basic training on research, LGBTQ public health issues and inequities, and community advisory boards. Once on the YCAB, members provide input to Fenway research staff and investigators on study design, protocols, enrollment, recruitment efforts and community education. Members also participate in planning community events and group enrichment activities. YCAB members have the opportunity to develop leadership skills and may even represent Fenway at national meetings or forums. The research projects that the YCAB is currently working with include biomedical HIV intervention and prevention studies, a community-based participatory research study on health disparities among LGBTQ youth of color, and partnering with a community coalition working on structural change and advocacy for HIV prevention and care.
Who is on the YCAB?
Youth ages 12-29 who are interested in representing community perspectives are welcome to volunteer as Youth Community Advisory Board members. The YCAB strives to build and maintain a diverse membership; therefore, Boston-area residents of all races and ethnicities, gender identities and sexual orientations, and HIV statuses are welcome. However, one of our current projects is geared specifically toward LGBTQ youth of color, and so youth of these identities are especially encouraged to get involved. You do not need to have any prior experience serving on a CAB to get involved. We will provide training and education so that you will become a valued member of the community advisory board.
How do I get involved?
YCAB meetings are held monthly. Training retreats are held 3 times per year, but you will be brought up to speed if you miss the training and still want to get involved! Those interested in attending meetings or joining the YCAB are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org