The Overcoming Hurdles in Ohio Youth Advisory Board (OHIO YAB) is a statewide organization of young people (aged 14-24) who have experienced foster care.
We exist to be the knowledgeable statewide voice that influences policies and practices that impact youth who have or will experience out of home care.
Statewide Quarterly Meetings
The OHIO Youth Advisory Board meets on a quarterly basis, on the third Thursday of January, April, July and October. Here is a link to our meeting schedule in 2023.
General Format of Statewide OHIO YAB meetings:
- OHIO YAB Youth Ambassadors report out on recent events
- Youth participants separate into brainstorming sessions in different corners of the room
- Youth participants report out on their brainstorming, and define next steps to move forward
- New and Good / Updates from county/regional YABs
Overcoming Hurdles in Ohio Youth Advisory Board
The OHIO YAB leadership structure is made up of representatives from county and regional Youth Advisory Boards, similar to the United Nation’s leadership structure. Here is a link to our Youth Ambassador Referral Form.
OHIO YAB Youth Ambassadors:
- Jewel Harris, Mattie Harrod, and Willow Elrod, Allen County
- Olivia Bennett and Kyajah Rodriguez, Athens County
- Todd Brooklyn, Ashtabula County
- Isabella and Victoria, Champaign County
- Raven Grice, Regine Turner and Makayla Lang, Cuyahoga County
- Sabrina Niezgoda, Delaware County
- Cynthia Louis-Charles, Miatta Joe, and Karimah-Addison Bolding, Franklin County
- Kendalyn Paynter and Forest Leis, Greene County
- Lyric Ruffin, Hamilton County
- Kirsten Lewis, Jackson County
- Fayvian Ferguson, Lake County
- Jorge Cortes, Lorain County
- Timyah Ciboro, Lucas County
- Kelsie Brown, Warren County
- Kinsley (Kayla) Spires, Williams County
- Jonathan Thomas, Wood County
Ohio YAB Resources
- A menu of ways that community members can help improve outcomes for the foster care population. We encourage those who want to empower youth voice to learn more about best practices when it comes to engaging foster care youth and alumni.
- A video to recruit community members to serve as foster parents for teenagers. The video application is closed, and we are happy to announce that this project is complete. You can watch the finished video on YouTube.
- A toolkit to support county and regional Youth Advisory Boards.
- A flyer specifically to invite Bridges young adults to participate in statewide quarterly meetings, and liaisons/agencies to transport them.
- If you are a young person who wants to get more involved in the statewide board, we invite you to fill out a OHIO YAB Membership Form.
- The OHIO YAB welcomes insights and invitations from our allies. The Board has established protocols if you would like to invite youth to participate on a panel, or if you are interested in sharing information at one of our statewide quarterly meetings. Youth have also recommended a protocol for CST engagement.