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A Message from

The Youth Leadership and Advisory Council

In September 2022 eight youth members across Choices for Youth (CFY) programs got together to form the Choices for Youth - Youth Leadership and Advisory Council (YLAC).  Since then, we have met monthly to inform CFY program development, advise and lead advocacy initiatives, and develop professional skills.

As the YLAC, we engage directly with CFY’s Senior Leadership Team and Board of Directors. We had our first meeting with CFY’s Senior Leadership Team in February 2023 and followed that up with our first meeting with the CFY Board of Directors in March 2023. Moving forward, we hope to meet with each group at least twice annually to provide our feedback and perspective.

As members of the YLAC, we are empowered to draw on our lived experiences and the resources made available to us by CFY to work on projects and initiatives that address the barriers to well-being that youth face in our communities. Issues of particular interest for our council include food security, housing, and healthcare. The YLAC’s discussions around food security produced recommendations that were integrated into CFY’s new strategic plan and led to the development of a food security survey that will launch in Spring 2023.

“Being a YLAC member has impacted me in the most wonderful ways possible, it's given me somewhere that I feel like my voice matters! I've learned so much in terms of being in a leadership role and public speaking.” – YLAC Co-Chair, Dionne Howe

Many of the issues that our council discusses are interconnected. Rising housing costs affect youth food security, as we have less money in our pockets for food after paying for housing. Having less money for food in turn affects our mental and physical health.

Other ideas have grown from the YLAC’s discussions around food security, including addressing housing discrimination, improving access to mental healthcare and dental healthcare, and investing in social enterprise opportunities. We look forward to doing more work around our topics of interest in 2023 and beyond.

“My favorite part of being on the YLAC is my coworkers, they're all so nice and share the same passions, it's wonderful to be connected with people that are as passionate as you.” - YLAC Co-Chair, Dionne Howe

As YLAC members, we also have the opportunity to enhance our professional skills and experience in areas of interest through training opportunities. The first of these training opportunities was a session on public speaking held in March 2023.

Signed by YLAC Co-Chairs:

Nive & Dionne



Co-chair, Youth Leadership
and Advisory Council



Co-chair, Youth Leadership
and Advisory Council

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