YTH was founded in 2001 with a clear mission: To advance youth health and wellness through technology.
Today, more than a decade later, we’ve become the partner of choice for institutions looking for what works in the field of sexual health for youth and young adults. These partnerships allow us to pilot new technologies, discover what works, and disseminate our learnings.
Our annual conference, now in its sixth year, is pivotal to the work that we do. The largest event of its kind, YTH Live convenes more than 500 attendees, including public health professionals, researchers, youth advocates, educators, government representatives, social entrepreneurs and technologists. In this dynamic, three-day event, attendees come together to share innovations, learnings, and spark collaboration. For many, it sets the agenda for the year to come.
In Partnership with You
We know that lack of access to free and low cost sexual health services has a disproportionate impact on urban, low-income and minority youth and we’re working to change that. Our pilot projects use technology to reach underserved populations with critical health information and services.
If you have a project or initiative in mind, contact us. Our team’s experience spans 40 years in public health, research, capacity building and health education. We have a proven track record in using technology and social media to educate and engage youth and young adults in HIV prevention, STD prevention, prevention of dating violence and unplanned pregnancies, with a particular focus on underserved minority youth. We also train and build capacity within nonprofit organizations, health departments, and educational institutions to advance the field.
Formerly known as ISIS, we’ve retained ISIS Ventures, our social enterprise arm, to pursue innovative projects for youth and young adults living with HIV and AIDS.
The YTH team is headquartered in Oakland, California, with contributors around the country.
Deb Levine, M.A.
Executive Director and Founder
Deb is the visionary leader of the organization and provides guidance and strategy for the YTH staff and board. She believes that reducing shame and embarrassment about sexual topics is guaranteed to create future generations of sexually confident, mature adults.
Deb has been working in the field of youth sexual health since 1993, when she discovered the power of the Internet to discuss sensitive topics while creating the immensely popular Go Ask Alice. Her work has been cited in former President Clinton’s Advisory Council Report on Education and the Internet, and in 2009, she was a Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellow.
In addition to authoring a book, The Joy of Cybersex (Ballantine, 1998), Deb has authored and co-authored numerous professional papers that have been published in journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Sexuality Research and Social Policy, and AIDSCare.
She has written sex advice columns for AOL, Time-Warner, Planned Parenthood Federation, and Yahoo! and has been extensively quoted in print in the New York Times, CNN.com, and The Wall Street Journal. Deb has also enjoyed notoriety on the Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly show, and has been interviewed on National Public Radio.
Deb holds a Bachelor’s of Social Work from Cornell University and a Master’s of Arts in Experiential Education from New York University. She was also a non-degree student at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
As a member of the YTH executive team, Sheoran acts as chief operating officer, guiding and directing strategies and policy and also serves as the principal advisor to the Executive Director. He brings a combination of clinical and public health knowledge and experience to his work at YTH and believes deeply in compassion, respect and humility– values he continually incorporates into his work.
Sheoran is an internationally recognized expert on HIV/AIDS interventions. He began his career as a medical doctor in India and subsequently moved into the field of public health. He has since worked in South and Southeast Asia and the US in varying roles with nonprofit agencies, the United Nations and academic institutions addressing the health needs of diverse populations including LGBTQ, Native Americans and Asian & Pacific Islanders.
Sheoran has published articles in the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care and the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice. His work has been featured in both online and print media including POZ magazine, Aegis and BAR.
Sheoran holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree from the Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi, India and a Masters in Health Management from the Institute of Health Management Research in India. He also received curricular training at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.
New Media Producer
Much of Jaime’s youth was spent along the California border entrenched in its contradicting cultures. At YTH, Jaime is currently involved in the production and programming of new media, but he’s also available to translate and troubleshoot when needed, and is particularly interested in the development, implementation and evaluation of youth media and community arts projects.
Having worked with YTH since 2005, Caryn’s focus has been on implementation, turning ideas into products. She has an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from USC, and a masters in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley. Previously, Caryn worked as a software engineer in the private sector.
Arai is currently a student at San Francisco State University, majoring in Public Health. She was drawn to this area of study because she realized that health can be impacted by many factors like exercise and nutrition, but also social constraints, such as access to resources in a community. As an emerging Public Health professional, she enjoys helping to diminish health disparities in my community by promoting positive sexuality through YTH’s work.
Digital Communications Associate
Jess is a fake New Yorker and wannabe San Franciscan who recently graduated with a BS in Nutritional Science from UC Berkeley. She is currently embarking on adventures in the Bay Area (like working at YTH!), during her gap year before pursuing an MPH at Emory University. Her professional experiences include collaborating with health technologists and providers at Kaiser Permanente’s Garfield Center for Innovation, managing social media projects at UC Berkeley’s Health Promotion center, and marketing for the INK Conference, in association with TED. At YTH, Jess leads the design of “Today is for Tomorrow;” a California-wide project with SMS, social media, and online health resources for teens.
Youth Advisory Board
The Youth::Tech Board works with the YTH staff to tackle sexual health disparities among youth and young adults. These board members influence the development, scope, and design of our programs.
Anthony is a Connecticut College junior from Chicago, IL, majoring in Gender and Women’s Studies with a minor in Government. A very active student, Anthony has taken a number of leadership roles in several organizations through the Multicultural Center and the LGBTQ Center. His passion in sexual health education stems from the passing of his uncle, who acquired HIV at the height of the negative stigma surrounding the LGBTQ community and individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Since then, he’s made a commitment to educating himself and others about HIV/AIDS and the importance of this disease in contemporary times. Anthony is a Connecticut College Diversity Peer Educator and enrolled in the College’s Holleran’s Center Program in Community Action and Public Policy (PICA). Properly educating youth about the importance and relevance of HIV/AIDS in society is a core area of his studies and his activism. In October 2011, Anthony became a GYT (Get Yourself Tested) Campus Ambassador and wrote an article for MTV’s IYSL (It’s Your Sex Life) Blog titled ‘Para Nuestra Cultura’ about the importance of acknowledging HIV/AIDS and its impact on the Latino community in honor of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day on October 15th. During the spring of 2012 Anthony became heavily involved in the promotion of GYT Day and transgender inclusion issues through the Connecticut College Diversity Coalition (CCDC), a student group dedicated to raising awareness on a series of issues of fundamental need to the LGBTQ community on campus. A great dancer and poet, Anthony has performed at several events and is currently a part of the executive board for RefleXion, Connecticut College’s Spoken Word Poetry group. In addition, Anthony established a spoken word group at the New London High School and the Science & Technology Magnet High School in collaboration with the College’s Office of Volunteers for Community Service (OVCS). Through OVCS, Anthony has stayed very involved in volunteer work. He has worked at a number of organizations within the New London community including the Gemma Moran Food Center, Covenant Shelter, Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School, and at New London High School as an AVID tutor, working with high school freshman to encourage higher-level thinking through a collaborative learning experience.
Cindy Lee is working on her B.S. in Public Health degree at the University of Texas at Austin. She is especially interested in health behavior, communication studies, and organization management. Deeply invested as a leader on campus, Cindy is currently a healthy sexuality peer educator of University Health Services, student advisor for the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center, Co-Chair of the UT Student Organization Safety Board, and student Vice President of UT Phi Kappa Phi. Last year as Co-President of Texas Public Health, Cindy was the main force behind the first celebrated National Public Health Week on the UT campus. The APHA recognized the program’s high level of engagement in their national newspaper and promotional video. Despite being born and bred in Texas, Cindy loves to travel. Last summer, she studied abroad in Israel to investigate the relationship between the desert environment and local development. She is also an avid foodie who reads food blogs and cooks in her spare time.
Ebony B. Section
Ebony Section is a true Florida girl. She has lived much of her life in various cities of Florida. She loves to visit the beach, visit Disney World, and go shopping. Ebony is a proud graduate of University of North Florida. She has a Bachelors in Health Science with a concentration in Community Health. Ebony has always had a passion for working in the field of sexual and reproductive health, especially with youth. On a normal day, she provides sexual education to friends and hand out condoms to her neighbors. Currently, Ebong is a health educator for the Safer Sex Intervention at Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando Inc. She provides one-on-one sexual education intervention that focuses on empowerment and skill-building to adolescent girls.
Max Kamin-Cross is a self-proclaimed political junky and activist. He has spent the last several years helping organizations such as the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and MTV Networks connect with young people using new media strategies. Max is very excited to join the YTHteam as a member of the Youth::Tech board. Max will be a Freshman at American University in the fall and can be found on Twitter @MaxKaminCross.
Board of Directors
Our board of directors lends their experience and expertise to the governance and leadership of YTH as an organization.
Executive Director-Golden Seeds Angel Investor Network and Fund
Tracy Barba is the Executive Director for Golden Seeds, a 250 member angel investor network and $26M fund investing in women-led companies. She is also the Communications Director for Bamboo Finance, a global private equity group focused on funding social enterprises globally. She is responsible for designing and managing the Bamboo Finance thought leadership platform in addition to managing marketing programs for their funds and investors. Tracy has over 15 years experience leading marketing strategies and fundraising initiatives for private equity funds, investors, think tanks and foundations. Previously she provided marketing and development services to the Mulago Foundation, a international foundation funding social entrepreneurs; Blackbox VC, an accelerator for international entrepreneurs; Hub Ventures, a seed fund and accelerator for social enterprises; and Take Action Impact Investing Conference Series, a convening of asset managers and investors focused on impact investing. She launched and directed communications for the VantagePoint Venture Partners CleanTech Practice; a $1B venture capital fund representing investments in Tesla, Project Better Place, BrightSource Energy among others. In addition to her board service with YTH, she currently serves on the board of the Taproot Foundation.
VP Corporate Development, Alliance Health Networks
David is responsible for leading the Company’s strategic partnerships, industry alliances and corporate philanthropy initiatives. Prior to Alliance Health, David consulted with nonprofit organizations and social enterprises on strategic uses of emerging technologies to improve organizational effectiveness at New Philanthropy Media., Mr. Goldsmith was Senior Vice President of Business Development for Bridgeline Digital, a Boston-based interactive agency specializing in SaaS-based web application development. Mr. Goldsmith’s clients included leading health foundations, research centers, advocacy organizations and life sciences companies. Mr. Goldsmith is active on several nonprofit boards and is a recognized thought-leader on the use of new technology to advance social change initiatives.
Co-Founder- Health 2.0
Matthew spent the 1990s learning from the best to be a health care futurist at Institute for the future, and a survey researcher at Harris Interactive. In the early 2000s he spent time at a PHR start-up, but since then he’s been the author of The Health Care Blog, and co-founder of the Health 2.0 Conference -roles for which he was mostly self-taught!
Jeffrey D. Klausner, MD, MPH
Professor and Medicine and Global Health- University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Jeffrey D. Klausner is a Professor of Medicine and Global Health with the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Klausner has been at the forefront of HIV/STD research, prevention, care and treatment since coming to San Francisco from New York in 1995. Dr. Klausner earned his medical degree with honors in research from Cornell University Medical College in 1991. After finishing his medical residency in Internal Medicine at NYU-Bellevue Hospital Center in 1994, Dr. Klausner attended Harvard University to complete a Master’s degree in Public Health. From 1995-1997 Dr. Klausner served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leading various investigations in outbreaks of infectious diseases. After the CDC Dr. Klausner completed a clinical fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of Washington under the mentorship of Prof. King Holmes. In 1998 Dr. Klausner became a Deputy Health Officer and Director of STD Prevention and Control Services for the San Francisco Department of Public Health and a member of the clinical faculty at UCSF School of Medicine. From 2009-2011 Dr. Klausner moved with his family to South Africa to lead the US CDC PEPFAR program in HIV and TB Care and Treatment.
Dr. Klausner is the author of more than 280 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals including Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association and American Journal of Public Health. He is the Senior Editor of the McGraw-Hill Lange textbook of Current Sexually Transmitted Diseases and is a frequent invited speaker to national and international scientific conferences. He has advised the WHO, UNAIDS, CDC and other international agencies on prevention and control of HIV and other STDs. He was instrumental in the creation of the St. James Infirmary, the first occupational health and safety clinic for sex workers in San Francisco and MAGNET a sexual health clinic for gay men.
Deb Levine, MA
Executive Director and Founder, YTH
Co-Director-UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies
Dr. Marguerita Lightfoot is Co-Director of director of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) and Director of the Technology and Information Exchange (TIE) Core. Dr. Lightfoot is a counseling psychologist whose research has included HIV prevention work in the juvenile justice system and with runaway and homeless youths in Los Angeles. One particular focus of her research with adolescents has been to adapt and utilize interactive and engaging delivery of HIV preventive activities on computers. In addition, she has worked as a Mental Health Clinician at a mental health clinic that served primarily low-income people of color. She’s conducted psychotherapy with predominately African American and Latino adults, couples, and families infected and/or affected by HIV. She is particularly interested in developing cost-effective interventions that are easily translatable with utility in community settings and utilizes new technologies to engage disenfranchised individuals in health promotion activities. She has a unique ability to determine the programmatic needs of the most vulnerable populations and develop programs that are cutting-edge and likely to successfully engage these populations to increase mental health functioning and well-being. A notable, ongoing research project has been adapting interventions to reduce HIV-related risk among urban street youths and youths living with HIV in Uganda.
Executive Director- Hollaback!
Emily is an international leader in the anti-street-harassment movement. In 2005, at the age of 24, she co-founded Hollaback! (iHollaback.org) in New York City, and in 2010 she became the first full-time executive director. Hollaback!’s mission is to give women and LGBTQ folks an empowered response to street harassment, and ultimately, to end it.
Prior to running Hollaback!, Emily worked in the anti-poverty world as a case manager, political action coordinator, director of development, and most recently, a one-woman research and development team. She has also worked on four political campaigns. Emily is a winner of the 2008 Stonewall Women’s Award, was a 2009 Progressive Women’s Voices Fellow, was selected as a 2011 “21 leaders” winner by Women’s E-news, and one of thirty “Women Making History” by the Women’s Media Center.
Miles Orkin, Board President
General Manager- McKesson Foundation Social Enterprise Program
Miles Orkin is General Manager of Giving Comfort – a social enterprise initiative for the McKesson Foundation – where he leads the strategic planning, design, development, and launch of a new program that will provide comfort and support to cancer patients and allow donors to make a direct impact in the lives of those who suffer the impact of the disease.
Prior to joining McKesson, Miles was National Director of Web and Mobile for the American Cancer Society, where he directed strategy and implementation for cancer.org and m.cancer.org, and helped guide Society presence and investment in emerging online tools and markets and direct-to-constituent online fundraising.
Miles has over two decades of experience using digital and traditional media to accomplish business and social goals for organizations including American Cancer Society, San Francisco State University, IconMedialab Barcelona, ThirdAge Media, CNet, Ziff Davis, Time Inc., and Thrasher Skateboard Magazine.
Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Teaching artist and longtime 826 Valencia volunteer, Erica Lorraine Scheidt is author of the young adult novel, Uses for Boys (St. Martin’s Press). This raw and lyrical novel has received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publisher’s Weekly and nominated by YALSA to be a 2014 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers. Currently Erica works with teenage writers in the Bay Area, including a weekly Writers’ Workshop at the YMCA Teen Center in Berkeley.
Entrepeneur and Business Consultant
Stewart Ugelow is a management consultant, an entrepreneur, and, from time to time, a writer. He works primarily with venture-backed startups on strategy, new product introductions, business development, financing, and communications. Stewart’s practice areas include old media, new media, logistics, software, retail consumer products, medical devices, and the food industry. Stewart served as co-founder and chief executive officer of Student.Net Publishing LLC (which later split into two separate companies, Student.Com, Inc., and TVGrid.Com, Inc.) from 1995 to 1999 during which time he and five fellow college students raised $9 million in equity financing from U S WEST Media Group and other institutional investors. In 2001, he co-founded FoodShip LLC, a value-added reseller of FedEx services to the perishable and specialty food industry. Stewart’s work as an entrepreneur has been featured in a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal and Rolling Stone, the latter of which described him as a “Master of Business.” Stewart has also worked as a business journalist and in other capacities at The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC).
We are fortunate to work with the most innovative public, private, and nonprofit institutions working in the fields of youth advocacy, technology and health.
ACLU of Northern California
Alameda County Department of Health
Blue Shield of California Foundation
California Department of Public Health
California Family Health Council
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
District of Columbia Department of Health
Funny or Die
Institute of Medicine
Motorola Mobility Foundation
National Institutes of Health
New York City Department of Health
Oregon Health Authority
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Reach Out/Inspire USA
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
San Francisco Department of Public Health
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies
The White House
U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services
University of Colorado, Denver School of Public Health
Vodafone Americas Foundation