The Adolescent Champion Teen Advisory Council (TAC TAC)
Who We Are
The Adolescent Champion Teen Advisory Council (TAC TAC) is a diverse group of youth ages 15-22 in the Washtenaw County area who serve as an advisory council to the Adolescent Health Initiative.
In the spirit of “Nothing about us, without us,” AHI relies on TAC TAC youth to inform its programs, help plan and execute the annual Conference on Adolescent Health, and develop new programs and projects that integrate youth voice into adolescent health care. TAC TAC meets once a month during the school year. TAC TAC members receive stipends for their participation and work in TAC TAC.
Applications for the 2022-23 season of TAC TAC will open on Monday, August 1.
TAC TAC’s Mission
To empower youth in health care settings by integrating diverse youth voices and values into programs, projects, and resources.
Now Accepting Applications: 2022-23 TAC TAC Season
AHI is recruiting new members for the 2022-2023 year!
We are looking for youth, ages 15-22, interested in improving adolescents’ experience in health care. Remember that even if you don’t feel like you have expertise in health, you are an expert in your own experience, and we want to hear YOUR voice! We are seeking youth eager to reflect, share their ideas, and are interested in expanding their community.
Meetings are three-four hours and are held once a month, from September 2022 to May 2023, based on members’ availability. Depending on the public health guidelines, these meetings will be in-person and subject to change. TAC TAC members will also attend the 2023 Conference on Adolescent Health in May 2023. Stipends are provided for participating.
Applications are due by midnight on Friday, August 26.
AHI Youth Reps is an open, ongoing group of youth ages 15-22 who are interested in AHI’s vision to transform the health care landscape to optimize adolescent and young adult health and well-being.
This group provides youth perspectives to a variety of projects on an as needed basis. This opportunity is great for young people who want their voice to be heard and contribute to positive outcomes in adolescent health, with the added benefit of flexibility to choose what projects to be involved in.
Projects may include:
- Brief surveys
- Recording video vignettes
- Event planning
- Resource development.
Compensation may be available on a per project basis.
Members of TAC TAC work throughout the year on projects ranging from posters, to videos, to tools that health centers can utilize to make their practice more adolescent-centered. These resources can be found throughout our website. See below for a preview of just some of the projects TAC TAC has completed over the years.
Interested in working with TAC TAC? Contact our TAC TAC Co-Facilitators, Lauren Vasquez (she/her) and Mava Cooper (she/her) below.
Ariel is a senior at the University of Michigan pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience. She works as a phlebotomist at Michigan Medicine and is a newly joined member of TAC TAC. Ariel is excited to shape the future of adolescent health care. She is passionate about adolescent health with a special emphasis on mental health and well-being. Ariel is also a member of BUMA (Black Undergraduate Medical Association) where she has been able to mentor High School students throughout their transition into college. In her free time, Ariel likes to do yoga, meditate and spend time with her friends and family!
Arya is currently a senior at Huron High School and is excited to participate in TAC TAC this year. She is particularly interested in the science and advocacy sides of health care. She is the Head of Communications for the PPAM Youth Advocacy Team, where she advocates for reproductive justice. She is a Peer Educator for Planned Parenthood and educates her peers and community about sexual health. She is also president of her school’s HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) Club and a member of ETR’s Youth Engagement Network. TAC TAC has provided Arya with the opportunity to shape the health care other adolescents like her receive and amplify youth voice in these settings and beyond.
Anum is currently a senior at Washtenaw International High School and this is her first year on TAC TAC! She is passionate about healthcare and self-advocacy within it and has utilized opportunities at school and in her community to explore her passions. She leads her school’s Operation Smile club, is an active member of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) and hopes to study neuroscience in the future. Outside of school, she is an avid reader and loves to cook and bake! In TAC TAC, she hopes to engage in the steps that can create more comfortable spaces for adolescents in healthcare.
Allison Mi is a rising senior at Huron High School. She is very passionate about promoting the importance of adolescent well-being, especially when it comes to mental health. She loves TAC TAC because this organization gives her the ability to amplify the voice of her peers when it comes to important decision-making regarding their health. Also, it’s just an amazing group of people! When not working with TAC TAC, you can find Allison copy editing her school’s newspaper, playing in orchestra, practicing with the women’s golf team, working with the Michigan Medicine blogs, or helping out in clubs and organizations such as HOSA and Inno Education.
Aayush Unadkat is currently a freshman at the University of Michigan studying Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. He is passionate about helping adolescents understand the importance of their mental health, as well as the resources they have available to them. He is also enthusiastic about increasing accessibility in adolescent healthcare and ensuring holistic care for all. TAC TAC has provided Aayush with an outlet to learn more about the issues that youth face as well as provide input into how they can be improved. TAC TAC has allowed him to hear and learn from intelligent and open-minded people and for that, he is extremely grateful!
Brooklynn is finishing their associates of applied sciences at Wayne County Community College through the Belleville High School Early Middle College program. She is passionate about helping advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves and making sure that LGBTQ+ individuals get the care they need. Joining TAC TAC has given them an opportunity to expand their knowledge on presenting, gain connections, and help advocate for adolescents everywhere to get the confidence to speak up about what they need from their doctors. In her spare time, she reads plenty of fiction novels, and spends time with her family.
Chris is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, graduating with a degree in Public Health Science. He is very passionate about epidemiology and aspires to work in global health and create a healthier future for everyone. Chris works as a Research Assistant in the Department of Epidemiology where he has been focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic. As a member of TAC TAC, Chris hopes to learn more about the challenges the youth face in the healthcare system and wants to empower the youth to become advocates for their health and wellbeing. Chris loves reading, listening to classical music, learning languages, and traveling.
Chris is a rising senior at the University of Michigan majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience; his interest in social justice led him to minor in Social Class and Inequality Studies. Chris has a passion for adolescent health care advocacy work and serves on the School-Based Health Alliance Youth Advisory Council in addition to TAC TAC. Through these roles, he has gained an appreciation for adults who serve as allies for youth voices. Chris is extremely grateful to TAC TAC and AHI for giving him a space to voice his opinion on adolescent health care. Furthermore, he works as a Research Assistant at the School of Dentistry’s Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences, and Endodontics. In his free time, Chris enjoys attending Michigan athletics events, exploring Ann Arbor, hammocking in the Arb, and listening to music.
Dakarai Young is a junior at Huron High School. He is very passionate about public health and sports medicine. At school, he takes part in HOSA BPA Rising scholars Black student union and Red Cross as well as being a musician and varsity athlete. Becoming a member of the Teen Advisory Council has been an excellent opportunity for him to learn from other perspectives and coming up with ways youth voices can be heard.
Jeren Ghoujeghi is a Public Health student at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She joined TAC TAC because she believes that health care isn’t truly effective unless it involves the direct input of those affected by it. Jeren has also served as a youth advisor for the Reproductive Health National Training Center’s peer learning group for Title X clinics. TAC TAC gives her an outlet to learn and provide perspective on how we can make the adolescent health care experience better. Furthermore, Jeren is passionate about the accessibility and quality of women’s health care, especially as it relates to empathy and equity. Outside of AHI, Jeren researches the psychological impact of diabetes on adolescents at the WSU School of Medicine, sits on her university’s Student Senate, and leads the non-profit organization Books 4 Equity. In her free time, you can find Jeren reffing soccer, listening to music, and longboarding.
Jessica Taylor is a senior broadcast journalism major at Wayne State University. Jessica dedicates her time to helping improve the lives of Black students at WSU. She serves as the College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts Student Senate representative for her University. There she spearheads the Black Student Success working group, committed to improving the experience of Black students across campus. As former Vice President of the Black Student Union WSU Chapter, Jessica is familiar with being in leadership among the African American community. When she is not in class or helping a friend, you can often see Jessica hosting events as Chief Engagement Coordinator for the Journalism Institute for Media Diversity. She also engages with students and residential life as a resident advisor in Anthony Wayne Drive Apartments and as social media manager of Temple Campus Ministries. Outside of her professional and academic commitments, she enjoys attending music festivals and spending time with family.
Saida Abshir is a sophomore at the University of Michigan majoring in Biology, Health, and Society and AfroAmerican and African Studies. They plan to pursue a career in medicine and are currently interested in reproductive and maternal health care.
Saida is passionate about solving racial and ethnic disparities within health and medicine. TAC TAC provides a space for her to voice her passions concerning these structural issues and the resources and methods to combat them. She hopes to help TAC TAC push for effective structural changes, as she believes that all people deserve equal access and treatment within health care.
Lastly, Saida loves to cook, is a henna artist, and is the oldest of six!
Sarah Kabala is a sophomore at the University of Michigan hoping to major in Public Health on a Pre-Medicine track with a minor in writing. She is passionate about empowering youth to speak out on their health and advocating for the widespread education of girls’ and womens’ health. Through TAC TAC, she would like to learn how to effectively communicate with youth on the importance of their input in matters of their health and women’s health.
When she is not working with TAC TAC, Sarah loves taking part in her other extracurricular activities and hobbies such as mentoring incoming freshmen in the Michigan Research and Discovery Scholars, working with the United Nations Children’s Fund, attending Black Undergraduate Medical Association meetings, and exploring her love of fashion with the Noir Runway at the University of Michigan.
Overall, Sarah is very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of TAC TAC and looks forward to learning from and engaging with people who are actively inspiring change in the lives of youth!
Thalianna is currently a student at the University of Detriot Mercy and previous WCC alumni at the age of 18. She loves helping others, making a difference, and being the best she can be. Thalianna believes what TAC TAC does is extraordinary – helping give voice to the adolescent health community when it feels like no one is listening. A journey and experience worth every bit of time that they are together. Making a difference, one step at a time.