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.
TAC TAC’s Mission
To empower youth in health care settings by integrating diverse youth voices and values into programs, projects, and resources.
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.
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!
Andrej cares about the issue of substance abuse among adolescents. Too often he sees friends and acquaintances fall victim to it, impeding their happiness and potential for success in life. This is Adrej’s second year in TAC TAC, and he has had a great time. He enjoys sharing his adolescent perspective and being actively involved in improving health care for others. TAC TAC is comprised of interesting and intelligent people, and to be able to share ideas with them on a regular basis is something he is grateful for.
Anusha is a sophomore at Washtenaw International High School. She is enthusiastic about the intersection between the science and advocacy sides of health care. She is a Peer Educator for Planned Parenthood, where she educates youth about sexual health in and out of the classroom. She is president of her school’s GIDAS (Genes and Diseases in Symptoms) Club and is a representative for her grade in Student Government. TACTAC has provided her with opportunities to continue to expand on her interests and start conversations about adolescent health care, and most importantly, what it means to have everyone’s voices heard.
Cameron is a Junior at Skyline High School and participates in their Health and Medicine magnet. Currently a junior, he considers adolescent health as something underrepresented. In the past couple of years, Cameron has become more and more interested in how healthcare continues to be available to those who are no longer under their parent’s health insurance. He believes healthcare is all too commonly shunned from early adult lives, which can lead to many inconveniences in the future. This is Cameron’s first year on TAC TAC, and he can’t wait to continue participating for many years to come.
Chris is a sophomore 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 and advocates for youth voice. 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 in the School of Public Health’s Department of Health Behavior and Health Education. 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 freshman at Wayne State University studying Public Health. She is passionate about the accessibility and quality of women’s health care as she aspires to become an obstetrician-gynecologist. TAC TAC has given her an outlet to learn and provide perspective on how we can make the adolescent health care experience better. Jeren loves to go to the gym, listen to music, and spend time with loved ones.
Jessie Schwalb is excited to participate in TAC TAC for a second year. She is particularly interested in making health care settings more accommodating for LGBTQ+ youth, addressing teen mental health, and changing how the health field treats weight. As well as serving on TAC TAC, she is part of the Youth Advisory Council for the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan. Jessie is a senior at Huron High School and is involved in Mock Trial, acting, and competitive hacking.
Nicole is currently a sophomore at the University of Michigan studying English and Urban Studies. She is passionate about making health care for adolescents accessible and approachable and enjoys using the creative arts to amplify youth voice in these settings and beyond. TAC TAC has provided her with the opportunity to cross over from the patient side of health care and actively work with others to shape the care she, and so many other adolescents, receive. This is her fourth year as a member, and she is excited to continue this important work.
Paige Brown-Danovi is a junior studying Secondary Education English Language and Literature at Eastern Michigan University. She has worked with many other youth-led organizations, including being a teacher’s aide and board member at The Little Lake Learning Community, being a fellow with The Placed-Based Education/Youth Driven Spaces fellowship at Eastern Michigan University, and working as a tutor through 826 Michigan. TAC TAC has allowed Paige to extend her work outside of education environments, for which she is eternally grateful. Paige believes that the most successful way to achieve a better world is by uplifting voices that are normally not heard, of which youth are one of the most important.
Sakinah Rahman is a youth activist, advocate, and artist in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She dedicates her time to raising awareness about many issues; specific to TAC TAC she raises awareness and educates many communities of the health rights entitled to youth. This is Sakinah’s third year at TAC TAC and she has learned and grown so much. If you would like to learn more about her experiences and projects done in TAC TAC, please ask her.
Thaliana is willing to devote her time to making the world into a more open-minded environment for everyone to enjoy. Life is filled with many things, and she believes it should be filled with kindness and happiness. Her mission is to help youth reach out to the adult community so they can share their perspectives and opinions. Her goal in life is to become a doctor and to help this world as much as possible, just like it has helped her.
Zakiyyah wasn’t educated much about the value of health — many other things in her life were more important. This was her initial thinking, but as Zakiyyah used secure outlets in her communities to learn about social activism, health seemed to be the premises of many issues. Health in all aspects is what she loves to focus on because she is still learning about it herself. That is why she has been honored to join TAC TAC with AHI. Now she can not only learn about her health but she can advocate for her health along with representing an entire community of people.
Zoya Malik is a junior at Washtenaw International High School. She is passionate about youth advocacy in professional settings. Zoya also participates in HOSA, DECA, and MSA at her school. TAC TAC has allowed her to expand her knowledge and interests in the world of health care. She is extremely grateful for this opportunity and hopes to continue learning and growing with TAC TAC.