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Youth Data Council

What is the Youth Data Council?

The Youth Data Council (YDC) started in March 2022 as a way for young people to tell the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Public Health Division and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) how to improve the Student Health Survey (SHS). The SHS is a survey that students take in the fall during class that asks questions about a range of topics that may or may not be relevant to youth and their lives. This is why we need the YDC – we want to make sure the SHS is focusing on topics and asking questions that are meaningful to students in Oregon schools!

What is the purpose of the Youth Data Council?

Students are taking the survey, so it is important for students to have a voice in the topics and types of questions that are being asked, what the data means and how the data is being used. 
We want the SHS to be a tool that helps all Oregon students get the support and services they need to achieve success. We want our survey to reflect the lives of young people across Oregon and provide data to drive programs and policies that will improve students’ well-being. 

What do YDC members do?

The YDC meets from October 2022 through April 2023 with a winter break. Each Council member spends about 5-7 hours a month on a mix of group meetings and independent work for the YDC.  

YDC members sign up for a team workgroup focused on a special project to improve the SHS and/or bring the data from the SHS to districts and community partners. For the 2023/24 cohort, the youth-led projects will focus on:

  • SHS Youth Input Team
    • YDC members will design a project to gather input from a sample of students across the state. Students will be asked to rank topics in the 2024 SHS. The team will analyze the data gathered and report the findings to SHS decision-makers and Public Health Division leadership. The purpose of this project is to ensure that the survey accurately reflects the issues students are currently facing and the priorities in their lives.
  • SHS Representation Team
    • This project will analyze the demographics of the school districts and students that take the SHS. YDC members on this team will learn how to assess representativeness and why it's important. The team will create a variety of communication materials based on the findings, doing outreach and presentations to school districts on the importance of the SHS data to promote district engagement and SHS participation.

Members of the YDC attend two 90-minute virtual meetings each month to share updates on their projects, discuss with other workgroups, give input on SHS activities and make sure they are getting what they need from OHA and ODE to complete their projects. Meetings are on the first Tuesday and third Sunday from 4:30 to 6:00pm. 

How do YDC members benefit?

YDC members are compensated for sharing their time, knowledge, and experience with OHA and ODE. Council members dedicate about 5-7 hours every month to the YDC and receive a $125 non-taxable prepaid Visa gift card each month for their participation.

Since each Council member is part of a youth-led workgroup, YDC members can take part in trainings and get practical skills on research methods, health communications, and how public health data can be used to support change in their schools and communities. 

Projects are youth-led, so YDC members may gain valuable skills including:

  • Project management
  • Data visualization
  • Problem-solving & critical thinking
  • Survey methods
  • Recognizing disparities using survey data
  • Leadership skills
  • Time management
  • Public-speaking experience

Who are the YDC members?

Members don't need any special skills or training to be part of the Youth Data Council – experience in life is enough! We have YDC members with a wide variety of skills and interests to get the workgroup projects done. YDC members are enthusiastic about sharing their stories, experiences, and ideas to improve the survey and want to partner with adults working in state systems and school districts. To give input on the SHS, YDC members:

  • Are 15 to 20 years old, and
  • Have been a student in a public school in Oregon.

We want the YDC to reflect the diversity of Oregon youth. The YDC prioritizes youth who have connections to their family, friends, and community, especially those who identify as:

  • Tribal, Indigenous, American Indian, Alaska Native or urban Native
  • Black or African American, Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Latino/a/x, Middle Eastern or North African
  • Living with a disability
  • Living in a remote area or far away from cities, suburban areas and towns
  • Facing life and system challenges, such as housing instability, hunger, poverty, foster care or trauma


How would you or your organization like to engage with the YDC? Would you like more information about the YDC? Contact Kari Greene at or call 503-910-6681.