YTH’s team is headquartered in Oakland, California, with contributors in Brooklyn, NY, Portland, OR and around the country.
The executive director of YTH, Jamia Wilson believes in galvanizing the power of people and communities. She is a feminist media activist, organizer, and storyteller passionate about creatively using digital and mobile media to help new voices be heard.
Before joining YTH in 2013, Jamia was the TED Prize Storyteller, leading TED Conference’s editorial strategy for the $1 million prize. Her previous roles include vice president of programs at Women’s Media Center, youth outreach manager at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and communications specialist at People for the American Way.
Jamia has been recognized as a next generation leader in advocacy movements, including as one of Refinery29’s “17 Faces of the Future of Feminism” and as a #SmartFeministofTwitter by Ms. Magazine blog. Jamia’s words and works have been featured in CBS News, C-SPAN, Forbes.com, Slate, Salon, New York Magazine, Rookie Magazine, the TODAY Show, the Washington Post, several anthologies, and more. She is also a frequent speaker at events like Netroots, the Civil Liberties and Public Policy’s conference, Facing Race, Women!Action! Media, and the National Conference for Media Reform.
Jamia’s community ties run deep—she is a member of the Hollaback! advisory board, the Feminist.com and Omega Institute boards, and the #femfuture leadership team, and is a co-founding leadership committee member of SPARK Movement.
A southerner who grew up in Saudi Arabia, Jamia has a B.A. in communications from American University and a M.A. in humanities and social thought from New York University.
Bhupendra Sheoran has over 13 years experience working with youth and young adults, starting in 2000 when he worked with teenage mothers to provide them with nutrition education.
As deputy director of YTH, Sheoran supports the executive director in promoting the organization, grant writing, strategic planning, and representing YTH in front of the community and stakeholders. He works with the program team to design new media and technology programs. He has designed, implemented, and evaluated text messaging campaigns and conducted social media outreach to reach at-risk and hard to reach populations. He also provides capacity building assistance to agencies that want to apply these technologies to their work especially in sexual and reproductive health focusing on youth.
Now based in Oakland, California, Sheoran began his career as a medical doctor in India. He subsequently moved into public health and got an MBA in health management. He has since worked in South and Southeast Asia and the U.S. in varying roles with nonprofit agencies, the United Nations, and in academic institutions addressing the health needs of diverse populations including LGBTQ, Native Americans, and Asian and Pacific Islanders. His responsibilities have included strategic planning, designing and implementing social marketing campaigns, research, and program design.
Sheoran has published articles in the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care and the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. His work has been featured in both online and print media including POZ magazine, Aegis, and BAR.
Sheoran likes to bring a combination of clinical and public health knowledge and experience to address health issues at both individual and population level. He believes in compassion, respect, and humility and these are the values he continues to incorporate in his work at YTH.
David Begor considers himself fortunate to have worked on amazing projects with YTH over the last 6 years, including YTH Live, Today is for Tomorrow, and Oregon Reminders to name just a few.
David enjoys each project for the different ways they educate and excite him. Being a part of YTH has allowed David to participate in the forefront of sexual health education among youth through the organization’s discovery of what works technologically. Each project is a new adventure.
David has worked in design and user experience for over 20 years, from visual merchandising at Saks Fifth Avenue to independent graphic, print, and web design for various companies throughout California. In 2002 David joined forces with his good friend Mike Ryan to create Cold Day in Hell Productions, a web development company focused on the gay community. In 2008 David, his (life) partner, and their son, and moved to Portland, Oregon where he started consulting on web and print projects for various companies, including YTH.
In his free time David is working towards finding the existential meaning to his life through humor, friendships, and self discovery. …Also World Peace.
Jenna Gaarde coordinates programs that advance youth health and wellness through technology. Formerly a program assistant at YTH, Jenna has worked on various components of YTH programs from start to finish, seeing the positive impact of technology on adolescent health.
Jenna is a sexual health educator and enthusiast, and has been involved in health education in various forms since 2007. Her experience within the field of sexual health includes peer-to-peer education and counseling, outreach, workshops, clinical interventions, inventive approaches using new media, and more.
Jenna graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in psychology, and has returned as a student in UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, pursuing her Master of Public Health degree in the health and social behavior program. She is extremely passionate about sexual and reproductive health, and is particularly interested in innovative, sex-positive health education for youth and young adults. Additionally, Jenna enjoys running, drinking coffee, and reading in parks.
Caryn Graves has been working for YTH since 2005, performing the “nitty gritty” technical implementations that bring to fruition the end products out of initial concepts.
She has worked on numerous projects over the course of her years at YTH, such as websites for health clinics, STD partner notification, clinic locators, SMS reminders, online faxing of prescriptions, and social media campaigns. YTH has been an ideal outlet for her desire to apply the latest technologies in innovative ways for good social causes.
Caryn has a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from USC and Master of Engineering in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining YTH, she worked as a software engineer in the private sector.
When not helping to forge the frontiers of sexual health promotion, Caryn undertakes a challenge very different in nature but no less in magnitude—the parenting of her two school-aged children. She also enjoys science fiction, games, running, gardening, cooking, and a wide range of music.
Senior Digital Media Producer
Immersed in his craft among today’s vast mediascape, Jaime Lebrija oversees the YTH production chain. He brings over 10 years of international experience working with youth and education.
In the last few years, Jaime has taught media and art workshops in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and co-produced the participatory media project ‘de la Luna’ at a Casa Hogar in Oaxaca, Mexico. Most recently, he has shot and directed several short films and music videos and is involved in the production of a documentary on the legendary MPC beat machine.
Jaime combines his quest for discovering stories and telling them in innovative ways with his passion for analog mediums such as 16mm film and obscure vinyl records. He holds an MA in media studies from The New School.
A seasoned public health professional, Cara Silva has spent the past thirteen years working with youth and young adults around sexual health promotion and disease prevention. Since 2010, Cara has worked with YTH as a program manager on projects like Today is for Tomorrow, Just/Us, YTH Live, and SexINFO, with a particular interest in YTH’s mHealth for youth projects.
Cara is currently building and managing the program for YTH Live 2014—a not-to-be-missed conference for technology innovators, health professionals, researchers, and advocates that is sure to be the most informative event of the year for those working on technology for youth health.
Cara has a Master of Public Health (MPH) in global health from Loma Linda University, a post-baccalaureate Certificate of Humanitarian Assistance, and twelve years of field epidemiology and program management experience in state and county public health systems. She has further served in leadership roles for community-based and faith-based nonprofit public health organizations in local, national, and international settings.
Her passion for HIV prevention and, ultimately, her career in public health has been inspired by the late Ryan White. One of the first faces of the AIDS crisis, Ryan White altered public perception of the disease and demonstrated—to Cara and many others—the remarkable power of a youth voice.
We’d like to thank those others that have generously contributed their skills and passion to helping YTH take great strides in advancing youth health, including: