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 AHI events, and develop new 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.
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 Tuesday, August 30.
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.
Arlo is a 22-year-old black, disabled, queer, and trans college student with a tenacity for puzzles and problem-solving. He is a sweet, genuine, and fun-loving person who loves to laugh and make others laugh. He spends his free time hanging out with his human and animal loved ones, playing Solitaire, and doing his best to make the world a better place. He fell in love with youth advocacy through fighting for his rights and found the strength to fight for others along the way. He makes it his mission to make things better than how he found them and crack a few jokes along the way.
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 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 allows her to amplify her peers’ voices 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.
Fanta (Tay) Guindo
Fanta is a senior at Washtenaw Technical Middle College, and this is her first year on TAC TAC! She believes that there needs to be more input from those affected at the hands of health care providers. She is very enthusiastic about adolescents’ experiences with mental health professionals. She wants to help them understand their emotional, psychological, and well-being so that they can communicate and get the help they hope for and need. Outside of school, Fanta loves to paint and meditate. She also participates in her school’s National Honor Society. She plans to pursue a career in Adolescent Psychology. She is excited to work with TAC TAC because it allows her to make change happen.
Jeren Ghoujeghi is a Public Health student at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She joined TAC TAC in 2019 because she believes that by young people sharing their lived experiences, we can help providers better meet adolescent patients where they are at. Jeren also served as a youth advisor for the Reproductive Health National Training Center’s peer learning group for Title X clinics. She is passionate about health equity and women’s health. Outside of TAC TAC, you can find Jeren volunteering for street medicine, reffing soccer, and paddleboarding.
Maryam is a senior in the LSA Honors Program at the University of Michigan pursuing a degree in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience with a minor in Moral and Political Philosophy. She works in mental health research as an associate study coordinator for the Healthy Minds Network, serves as the Operations Executive for the Muslim Students’ Association, and is excited to be spending her second year with TAC TAC and the Adolescent Health Initiative! TAC TAC has provided Maryam with a warm and constructive space where she has been proud to engage in healthcare advocacy, making resources more accessible to medically underserved communities and vulnerable adolescents in the United States and beyond. In her free time, she enjoys writing pen pal letters and hiking.
Melanie is currently a junior at Huron High School, committed to improving the health care community for future generations. Melanie has been involved alongside free clinics in multiple states and has contributed to the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation. She is excited to be working alongside TAC TAC this year because it’s a diverse environment with the ability to create a positive impact. Besides school, Melanie is a member of UNICEF and MREACH and will start her first year with HOSA! Whenever she is not working, you can find her reading a good book or exploring her hometown.
Niko is a rising senior at Oakland Early College, and this is his first year on TAC TAC! He is passionate about helping adolescents understand their mental health better and providing resources for LGBTQ+ youth. They find TAC TAC extremely valuable as it allows for a safe, constructive atmosphere where their voice can be heard and used to help many others. Aside from being the president of his school’s chess club, Niko also participates in his school’s queer pride club, the National Honors Society, and is looking forward to competing in HOSA. In the future, Niko hopes to study biomedical engineering and eventually attend medical school. Outside school, they enjoy playing the piano, baking, driving with the windows down, and reading psychology books.
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!
Shivangi is currently a junior at Salem High School and is excited to be on TAC TAC this year! She is passionate about improving adolescents’ mental health and creating a better community for adolescents to grow. Shivangi volunteers at the Beaumont Hospital and is a part of the student committee for ADL: No Place For Hate at her school. She hopes to use her experiences from these activities to bring meaningful perspectives regarding adolescent health to TAC TAC. At school, Shivangi is the Human Rights Club president and a National Honors Society member. She also looks forward to competing in HOSA this year and being a varsity member of her school’s debate team. Some of her hobbies include taking bike rides, baking, and traveling!
Sri Tharika Jothipuram Jayakumar
Sri Tharika is currently a junior at Huron High School and is super excited to be a part of TAC TAC this year! She is highly passionate about improving access to healthcare for underserved communities and voicing against healthcare disparities. She is committed to educating her community and peers about sexual health as a Peer Educator for Planned Parenthood of Michigan. In her free time, she can be found volunteering at various hospitals, presenting on menstrual hygiene, binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy, or hanging out with friends! Sri is grateful to TAC TAC for providing her with the opportunity to utilize her voice to improve the quality of healthcare received by her community.
Yeina is a junior at Pioneer High School and hopes to study biology in college. Yeina wants to be there for little kids and find an organization that lets her be a voice for adolescents, and she aspires to help their needs. She is also a part of the end sexual violence club and a part of the Ann Arbor Youth Council. She plays volleyball, basketball, and is in track. Yeina also loves to read and go shopping.