YTH: Igniting Impact in 2014 and Beyond


As we prepare for Thanksgiving, the YTH team is grateful for another amazing year of advancing technology for youth health and wellness. As you know, time flies when you’re having fun. It’s been a busy year for YTH, as we commemorate our 1-year anniversary with our Executive Director, and the launch of several new initiatives. We know we couldn’t have done it without wonderful partners like you. This year we:

  • Welcomed 400 of the brightest minds in youth tech health innovation to San Francisco for #YTHLive. In collaboration with our 50 speakers and 15 sponsors, we reached over 1,450,000 people via social media. We amplified the voices of diverse youth innovators at YTH Live including TED speaker Adora Svitak and Intel Science Award winner (and TEDster) Jack Andraka. Watch our new YTH Live 2015 video to learn more.
  • Kicked off the first phase of YTH Street Connect. YTH Street Connect is like Yelp! for homeless and unstably housed youth in Santa Clara County. Youth will use this mobile app to find local resources as well as rate the services that they access.  In Phase I, we will develop the prototype and conduct feasibility and usability testing with nine homeless/unstably housed youth, as well as five providers. This will lead to a phase II application in April 2015 to conduct a randomized control trial with over 500 homeless youth.
  • Launched our YTH Health Hackathon in partnership with Reach Ashland Youth Center and The Level Playing Field Institute. Our winning team developed bEATen Track, a tool that enables smartphone users to record the number of miles they’ve walked, run, and biked, and use them to earn food from local farmers’ markets. The app promotes exercise, healthy eating, and small businesses.
  • Embarked on the first-phase of cracking the code to locating youth-friendly, youth-approved health care. Our team worked on surfacing and geo-locating YTH-friendly healthcare in CA with student coders from Codepath. Students partnered with YTH to build a prototype for a Yelp/Zoc-Doc-style mobile app for youth-friendly and “YTH approved” reproductive, and sexual health services. We’re working on building resources for the next phase of development.
  • Partnered with youth sexual and reproductive health champions nationwide to build capacity. We reached and engaged hundreds of youth through webinars, tweet chats and workshops across the country.
  • Launched #TeenMomsTalkBack, a digital storytelling initiative powered by YTH, NLIRH, Florence Crittenton Services, Colorado School of Public Health, UCD Anthropology Department and Latino Research and Policy Center thanks to the Ford Foundation’s generous support.
  • Supported the leadership of our Youth Advisory Board (YAB) by increasing their direct engagement with our board of directors, recognizing their leadership at YTH Live, and offering them skills-building opportunities in content development, media messaging, career planning, research, and health tech development. One of our YAB members is now our digital communications intern while another member is currently pursuing global youth leadership in Portugal.
  • Continued to advance our revitalized brand online. If you haven’t already, join almost 90,000 unique visitors to our website, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr. We’ve grown our followers on Twitter by over 45% this year, but we’d love to evangelize Youth Health Tech even further. At the same time, we’ve broadened the visibility of youth health tech innovation in media outlets including Colorlines, Upworthy, Huffington Post Impact, The Guardian UK and more.
  • Raised our voices about youth sexual and reproductive health. To commemorate National HIV Testing Day, over 33 healthcare professionals, educators, and providers convened online to have an engaging, fast-paced discussion on resources for youth HIV prevention. Read more about #YTHHIV. We’ve also connected youth with comprehensive #realtalk about health they can trust. We did this by sending over 50,000 text messages nationwide.
  • Extended the arc of YTH’s engagement. We’ve expanded our reach beyond the US to the Dominican Republic, Canada, Brazil, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Based on what we’ve learned from our Unete Latina project, we’re developing Raksha, a program that aims to integrate innovative technology and multimedia to reach South Asian women in Fremont, CA with domestic violence resources. We also embarked on new partnerships with youth-serving organizations we love, including Legacy for Health and Peer Health Exchange.

We’ve had a great year so far, and look forward to many more. Just like the youth we serve, you are part of the solution. Here’s four ways you can get involved:

  1. Invest in the next-generation of health tech innovators by donating today. Your generosity and support will make an extraordinary impact on our work advancing young people’s health and wellness.
  2. Register to attend YTH Live 2015, the premier conference for trailblazing technology that is advancing the health and wellness of youth, young adults, and other underserved populations. Get your tickets before our early-bird special ends!
  3. Submit a YTH Live abstract and showcase your youth health tech discoveries. Time is of the essence, but we’re still accepting abstracts until November 7, 2014.
  4. Sponsor YTH Live 2015. YTH Live provides a unique opportunity for innovative brands and entrepreneurs to connect with a high-quality, diverse audience of technology and health consumers from across the U.S. and around the world.

Want to join the movement to advance youth health and wellness with technology? Stay connected by signing up for our newsletter.

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ZonaSegura ZonaSegura is a trauma-informed youth-centered innovative mobile solution to address teen dating violence in Honduras. Learn more about ZonaSegura on our program page.