Our staff members, while extremely knowledgeable and well-trained, are not the experts on the lives and needs of young people. Young people themselves are the experts.

Our Youth Advisory Board is one way we bring young people’s voices directly into the decisions that affect them here at Larkin Street. As a leadership and advocacy program, the Youth Advisory Board provides valuable experience to young people, while increasing their expertise and informing our programs and policies. The Board is growing, with five strong advocates graduating last year and now a dynamic new 12-member cohort taking over.

The need for programs that focus on youth expertise and leadership development is clear: each year we have more applicants than available spaces. In this year’s selection process, Youth Advisory Board alumni, alongside Board Coordinator Allie Cannington, co-led efforts to choose the new members. The continued support of Youth Advisory Board alumni reiterates the power of peer-to-peer leadership.

Since young people are the experts on their lives, Larkin Street is committed to finding a way to empower their voices and support their lifelong ability to advocate for themselves.

As this new cohort progresses, be on the lookout for Youth Advisory Board projects, recommendations and accomplishments!