Grantee Spotlight from Multiple Locations

Youth Leaders Inform Adolescent-Responsive Family Planning Services


Health care isn't truly effective unless it involves the direct input of those affected by it.
Jeren Ghoujeghi, youth leader

Title X projects can partner with youth to develop, implement, and evaluate their activities, and more effectively promote their services to young people. Having youth at the table also provides an opportunity for positive youth development.

Jeren Ghoujeghi, Aayush Unadkat, and Jessie Schwalb are youth leaders who represent the needs of young people and support various organizations and groups in providing adolescent-responsive sexual and reproductive health services. Aayush, Jeren, and Jessie recently served as Youth Experts for the Facilitating Youth Engagement in Title X Programs Peer Learning Group (PLG) hosted by the RHNTC. PLG participants expressed that the perspective, strategies, and feedback shared by the Youth Experts helped them strengthen both their relationships with adolescent clients and their Title X services overall.

Structured, committed partnerships between family planning projects and youth benefit everyone involved. Young people get an opportunity to create positive social change for themselves and their peers; in the process, they gain knowledge, skills, connections, and confidence. Project staff learn to better understand and value youth, and they enhance their commitment to supporting adolescent clients. With these partnerships, family planning projects can provide more inclusive services that improve the health of the community as a whole.

Title X projects must provide an opportunity for participation in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the project by persons broadly representative of the community—including youth. The Community Participation, Education, and Project Promotion Plan (CPEP) Template provides a structure for Title X projects to identify objectives and actions they may undertake to engage and educate the community. For more on the youth perspective on family planning services, see the Promoting Youth-Friendly Environments in Family Planning Clinics Webinar.

Jeren Ghoujeghi Aayush Unadkat Jessie Schwalb

Jeren Ghoujeghi (left) is driven by advocating for health equity through empathy and representation. Aayush Unadkat (center) is passionate about helping adolescents understand the importance of their mental health, and the resources available to them. Jessie Schwalb (right) is intent on making medicine more accessible to LGBTQ+ people and combating anti-fat bias.