This blog post is a part of the YTH Staff Interview Series, where we are featuring an in-depth Q&A with each member of our staff. This week, we’re talking to the brilliant Cara Silva, who serves as our Director of Programs. Cara is a seasoned vet of public health, as she has over 16 years of experience working with youth and young adults in sexual health promotion and disease prevention. As one of our longest-standing staff members, Cara has been with YTH for over 6 years, leading our dynamic programming efforts to immense success.
As our Director of Programs, Cara provides leadership and management of YTH’s programs, including youth-centered health design, digital innovation, youth alliances, technical and mobile development, and research. I spoke with her about her high level of experience and expertise, her long-standing role at YTH, and what she’s most grateful for in her work at our organization.
ERIN: To say you’re a seasoned professional would be an understatement! Having worked in so many capacities over your career, what do you think makes YTH such a special organization?
CARA: YTH is an org that combines many of the things that I believe in: public health, young people, mHealth, access, innovation, and global perspective. The opportunity to go beyond the red tape of many public health organizations and not see a barrier between health and innovation can (unfortunately) be very unique. YTH seeks solutions and tools. And we seek them, for and alongside young people.
ERIN: Though it is no longer the month of November, it is still the season of giving thanks. What are you the most grateful or thankful for in your work at YTH and why?
CARA: That I work alongside a stellar team, who strive to support young people around the world to stay healthy; we do this together. I am thankful for YTH’s inclusiveness, advocacy, and resiliency. Whether we are discovering information through new research (TECHsex, Cyberbullying Report), leading the way in the innovation and design of new tools for underserved youth (StreetConnect, PrEPTECH, CyberGirl), or leading the way in sharing, scaling, and building capacity (YTH Live, CBA support, YTH Youth Advisory Board), YTH’s work becomes applicable for everyone; governments, non-governments, non-profits, and community based organizations, parents, and youth alike. In the United States and abroad. I call that inclusive.
ERIN: You’ve been with YTH for many years now and been one of the most important people who help make our conference happen every year. What’s your favorite part of planning the YTHLive conference?
CARA: It is like a giant puzzle. The analytic part of my brain feeds off of placing all of the pieces together (abstracts, speakers, subject matter, logistics, finances, staff, etc.), and the creative side of my brain loves to dream about what it can be and work to see that come to fruition.
Pulling it all together. Seeing it all together.
The uniqueness of YTH Live is that it provides an avenue for youth-serving organizations, providers, advocates, parents, engineers, and young people to share and learn from one another in the same rooms. Don’t miss 2017. Mark your calendar: YTH Live. May 7-9th. San Francisco, California.
To learn more about Cara and her work, read her full bio here.
Want to join Cara at YTH Live 2017? Register today and receive a $55 discount, as a part of our Early Bird Registration. We only have a limited number of tickets available at this special price, so act now to claim this discount.