Check out YACHA, MOASH's newest youth advisory council
What is the Youth Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (YACHA)?
YACHA, a project of MOASH and Wellness Services, Inc., is a youth-driven leadership and advocacy group for young people living with HIV/AIDS and their allies. Council members participate in and facilitate workshops/trainings and plan events focused on HIV awareness/prevention, inclusive and affirming sexual health education, policy reform, mental health, suicide prevention, and more. Members will inform local, regional, and statewide HIV resources, programming, and policies that impact young people living with HIV. Council members are typically 15-24 years old but exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. Council members are either youth living with HIV or youth allies who are interested in supporting youth living with HIV.
Save the date! YACHA is involved with a couple cool events coming up this September 2019: the PrEP and Proud week-long campaign in Detroit from 9/9-9/14 and the first annual HIV & You(th) Summit in Flint! Click the links to be taken to pages with more information. We'll see you there!
Meet our YACHA members:
Divya's main interests are advocacy and social service based around sexual and mental health. She currently attends Williamston High School and her favorite hobbies are dance and listening to music. She loves being on the YACHA because it allows her to help erase the stigma against HIV/AIDS and increase awareness for sexual health in youth.
Kayla Shannon is a current senior at Grand Blanc High school. Her social justice work has been focused in spoken word poetry and the facilitation of workshops around taboo issue such as privilege. Her poetry has been an outlet by which she expresses her own struggles in hopes of connecting with larger audiences who have endured the same experiences or hope to learn more about such experiences. Through her work, she has been able to connect with youth worldwide and empower them to use their unique voices to effect change in their own communities. In her free time, she enjoys talking and hanging out with close friends and family members.
Sheeba Pawar graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience, with a minor in History from the University of Michigan. She has been working at Planned Parenthood of Michigan for the last three years as a Healthcare Specialist focusing on abortion care and family planning services. Her areas of interests are improving structural competency within abortion care, inclusive and affirming sexual education, and creating conversations about sexual and reproductive health within South Asian communities. In her free time, Sheeba loves listening to Deerhoof and watching movies with her cat, Youppi.
Cara Mitrano (she/her) has been involved in LGBTQ+ activism since high school when she founded a Gay-Straight Alliance. In January 2019, she was a Co-Chair of Creating Change, the nation's largest LGBTQ+ conference. At Wayne State University, Cara was a leader in LGBTQ+ student organizations and founded the LGBT Student Advisory Board, a group dedicated to supporting student activists and strengthening community bonds. She is also a member of the Southeastern Michigan HIV/AIDS Council (SEMHAC), ambassador for National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and member of the statewide Youth Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.