YTH’s team is headquartered in Oakland, California, with contributors in Brooklyn, NY, Portland, OR and around the country.

Bhupendra SheoranCara SilvaAlex_center
Jay LykensErin McKelleJade Lopez
Caryn Graves photoJaime LebrijaDavid Begor photo
Brianna Suslovic photoLaneka Vinay photo

Bhupendra Sheoran

Executive Director | @SheoranYTH
Bhupendra Sheoran
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 executive director of YTH, Sheoran leads the organization, involving himself in grant writing, strategic planning, and representing YTH to 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.

Cara Silva

Program Manager

Cara SilvaA 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 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.

Alex Medina

Digital Communications Officer

Alex_centerAlex brings eight years of experience in web, social media and digital project management to the YTH team. As YTH’s digital communications officer, Alex oversees all organizational and programmatic web and social media platforms. He also provides training and technical support to clients and strategic partners in the development and execution of web and social media strategies that advance the health and wellness of young people.

Alex previously worked at Answer/Sex, Etc. and provided comprehensive sexuality education to young people online. He is proud of his work on a groundbreaking sex education game called Safer Sex Shuffle, winner of the 2013 Games for Change Game Design Competition, in addition to the redesign of in 2012. Alex has also worked as a peer-to-peer counselor on sexuality and LGBTQ issues before graduating from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology.

Alex has been an ally of YTH for years and a YTH Live panelist and programming committee member. He is a Jersey boy at heart and has dreamed of living in the Bay Area since his first time at YTH Live in 2011. Now based in Oakland, he lives with his partner and enjoys video games, NPR, Android and all things tech in his spare time.

James Lykens

Program Associate
jay-lykensJames comes to YTH with extensive experience in research and youth engagement. As an advocate for LGBTQ sexual health and rights, he’s especially interested in reducing trans/genderqueer health disparities and improving health care access. As YTH’s program associate, James works closely with the team to provide support for research, communications, and the annual YTH Live conference.

James is currently a graduate student at San Francisco State University’s Sexuality Studies program. He also works as a research assistant with San Francisco State University’s Project AFFIRM, a study on gender identity development and resilience. James received his BA in Psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz, where he worked with a number of community organizations for LGBTQ youth.

James is originally from the South and is a nerd at heart. He loves sci-fi/fantasy, video games, and getting lost in bookstores. James is passionate about furthering YTH’s mission and hopes to see more scholars and advocates make use of technology-based health interventions.

Erin McKelle

Communications Associate
Erin McKelle
Erin McKelle is an e-activist, video blogger, student, and nonprofit advocate. A fierce feminist, she has launched several projects, including the Fearless Feminism blog and the Consent is Sexy video series about healthy sexuality. In 2014, Erin will attend Ohio University as a women’s studies major.

Erin works with Scenarios USA as a youth blogger and a co-founding member of the I Will End Sexual Violence campaign on Tumblr. She is a columnist for Fearless Press, where she writes about gender and sexuality; has written for Brainwash Magazine, the Stop Street Harassment blog, and FBomb; and blogs for Facts About Feminism and Period Positive.

Erin enjoys volunteer work and has given her time to numerous organizations such as Wiser (formerly WiserEarth), LEGACY, and In her spare time Erin enjoys reading, writing bad poetry, drawing, politics, and reality TV.

Jade Lopez

Executive Assistant | @jade_claire
Jade Lopez
Jade Lopez is a global health and development professional with over three years of experience living and working in Eastern Sub Saharan Africa, Southern Asia, and Europe. She applies her knowledge of intercultural health and wellness, teaching and pedagogy, and youth development to support YTH staff and programs.

Jade most recently developed primary healthcare programs in India. She is grateful for the opportunity to have taught secondary science as an education volunteer with the United States Peace Corps in Mozambique. While there, Jade implemented, monitored, and evaluated a hospital internship program, which was modeled after US pre-med internships and received a nomination for a United Nations Public Service Award. She also worked in Health Education at the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center in San Francisco, assisting in the execution of novel, mobile, non-clinical, and free HIV testing. Jade graduated in 2011 pre-med from the University of California, Davis with a BS in biological sciences with an emphasis in neurology, physiology and behavior, and a minor in religious studies.

A Bay Area native, Jade is lucky to spend her time experiencing the idiosyncrasies of human cultures, celebrating her Puerto Rican and British dual heritage, practicing yoga and meditation, and creating water color sketches of her surroundings. If you want to talk about critical pedagogy in Portuguese, watch Star Wars, or know any terrific taquerias, please contact her on Twitter at @jade claire.

Caryn Graves

Lead Engineer
Caryn Graves photo
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.

Jaime Lebrija

Senior Digital Media Producer
Jaime Lebrija photo
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.

David Begor

Consultant | @MyQPlanet
David Begor photo
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.

Brianna Suslovic

Social Justic Ambassador
Brianna Suslovic photo

Brianna Suslovic is a youth advocate for reproductive justice and is currently in her senior year at Harvard College. As a member of Advocates for Youth’s Young Women of Color Leadership Council, a board member of Sexual Health Education and Advocacy at Harvard College, and a Repeal Hyde Art Project Leader, Brianna works to bring sexual and reproductive health issues to the forefront of campus conversations. Brianna is also a Youth Advocate with her local Planned Parenthood affiliate, educating healthcare providers about how to deliver youth-friendly sexual and reproductive healthcare services.

Brianna’s organizing and advocacy at Harvard College led to the development of a comprehensive gender neutral housing policy, one that expands safe housing options for trans*, gender variant, and gender non-conforming students. Brianna currently writes a column titled “Yes Queen” for The Harvard Crimson, where she discusses intersectional feminist topics biweekly. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @bsuslovic, or at her website,

Laneka Vinay

Laneka Vinay photo

Laneka is a high school senior who is passionate about social justice and youth health.

She has a black belt in a style of kung fu called KAJUKENBO and teaches Oakland youth about self-defense and healthy living, both physically and mentally. As a member of Destiny Art Center, Laneka works to end isolation, prejudice, and violence in the lives of youth. She is interested in learning more about and advocating for racial justice and gender equality and plans to study psychology and sociology in college. In her free time, Laneka loves to watch non-stop episodes of Criminal Minds, Leverage, and Law and Order on the weekends.

Our thanks

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:

Arai Buendia, Jessica Ken, Zach Seidl, Jasmine Smith, Evonne Smith