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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. The YDC is adding young people to each step of that process, connecting youth with adults to share their ideas and experiences.

We want the SHS to be a tool that helps all Oregon students get the support and services they need to achieve success. The YDC works to make sure the SHS reflects the lives of young people across Oregon by producing data to inform programs and policies that improve students’ well-being. 

What do YDC members do?

The YDC meets virtually as a full group twice a month from October through April. Each Council member spends 4-7 hours a month on a mix of group meetings and independent work for the YDC. Members may have the chance to serve on statewide workgroups or committees as YDC representatives.

YDC members sign up for a team workgroup focused on a project to improve the SHS and/or bring the SHS data to districts and community partners. Past youth-led projects have included:

  • designing and piloting a survey asking students to rank topics on the Student Health Survey,
  • creating a video about the SHS and
  • hosting an SHS Data Party for district decision-makers and public health staff. 

How do YDC members benefit?

YDC members are compensated for sharing their time, knowledge, and experience with OHA and ODE. Council members commit about 4-7 hours every month to YDC activities and receive $45 / hour as a stipend for their participation. Members can choose direct deposit to a bank account, or a gift card (note that OHA will require W-4 tax forms).

Since each Council member is part of a youth-led workgroup, YDC may members 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
  • Problem-solving & critical thinking
  • Leadership skills
  • Data visualization
  • Survey and research methods
  • 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, your organization or your school district like to engage with the YDC? Would you like to hear more about the YDC? Contact Kari Greene at or call 503-910-6681.