The HEALYAC kickstarted the new term ‘zoom style’ with their orientation
On October 23rd, the Human Environments Analysis Laboratory Youth Advisory Council (HEALYAC) had their orientation for the 2020-21 term, where all members (both new and returning) got to meet via Zoom and have some fun getting to know each other. The purpose of the HEALYAC is to integrate youth voices, perspectives, and expertise into our research on young people’s health and wellbeing. YAC members usually advise on strategic directions of the HEAL and research priorities, provide input on research instruments, advise on study recruitment, and even create their own projects with the support of HEAL staff!
Normally, all HEALYAC meetings are held in person, however due to COVID, the council pivoted this year by deciding to hold their orientation and council meetings online via Zoom. All 18 YAC members were able to attend the orientation, as well as the HEAL director and supporting staff. Members had the opportunity to meet each other and participate in icebreakers and other fun group activities. One of these activities involved discussing the HEALYAC’s three core values that were developed back in 2018 when the YAC was initially formed: collaboration, participation, and diversity. A word cloud activity was used to brainstorm what each of these three values meant to the members. A fourth word cloud was generated to brainstorm any other components that the members feel are key to the council’s success, and from our results, a new fourth pillar of the HEALYAC was born. The word that stood out large and bold that the overwhelming majority of council members wrote down…RESPECT! Moving forward, we will be adding this core value to the YAC’s terms of reference document, and we will strive to continue respecting one another’s voices and opinions on the HEALYAC moving forward.
Overall, the orientation ran smoothly and was a success! The HEALYAC members are excited for the 2020-21 year and are eager to make some change within the London community!