Youth Involvement

Today’s youth and young adults with special health care needs have an active voice in the design, development, and implementation of health policies that encourage a smooth transition from pediatric to adult health care. They help healthcare professionals, policymakers, and other adults understand what it is like to live their lives, and they participate in discussions about how to help each other succeed. They model leadership and the power of self-advocacy. They are active in their schools, communities, families, and places of employment. They want to share their message with other youth who have disabilities or chronic health conditions, as well as with friends and peers.

The YEAH (Youth for Education, Advocacy and Healthcare) Council

The New Hampshire YEAH Council comes together monthly to discuss issues involving what it means to be a young adult with a chronic health condition and how best to make the transition to the adult healthcare system. They work to educate other youth on how to handle their transition to adulthood, as well as educate medical professionals about what they can do to facilitate the transition. For more information, e-mail

YEAH’s Mission is to help the transition from childhood to adulthood, dependence to independence, and pediatric medical care to adult medical care go more smoothly. This group helps teens and young adults:

  • Get the information they need to live independently
  • Live a successful life
  • Make decisions about healthcare
  • Inform your doctors and physicians about your healthcare and general needs
  • Make information easily accessible to teens who may lack parental guidance

Thinking of a future with greater independence? Not sure what the first steps are?

An interactive, content-rich website geared towards Granite State youth, ages 14-26, who are experiencing challenges in school, socially, or with physical or mental health challenges. It also serves as a resource for any young person looking to gain independence and knowledge about personal finances, employment, living on their own, and going to college.

This is a first-of-its-kind resource in NH because it was created exclusively for teens and young adults. The beauty of this website is that it’s a place for young people to access information, resources, and inspiration as they begin taking the necessary steps to the life they dream of for themselves. addresses six main areas that teens and young adults need to know to live independent, fulfilling lives. Those areas are advocacy, education, employment, finances, healthcare, leadership, and life skills. There is a resource page for each of these categories with information on everything from how to write a resume and manage a personal budget to communicating effectively and transitioning from pediatric to adult healthcare. In addition, there are galleries where young people can submit and share artwork, music, and stories about their journey to independence. The “Ask a Youth” feature allows visitors to submit questions about growing up with a disability, challenge or health condition that is answered by a team of NH teens and young adults. There are also news feeds highlighting headlines that pertain to the youth population, live Twitter and Instagram feeds, and a calendar of events. is also the online hub for the YEAH Council, a group of young leaders doing important work throughout NH in the areas of advocacy, education, and healthcare.

YEAH Podcast

Hiring Support Staff Series

In this series, youth council members talk about how support staff can make a difference in the lives of youth with disabilities, the interviewing and hiring process, backup plans, and share tips and tricks to “keep the ball rolling.” Each podcast is about 15 minutes long. Youth, guardians, and other support professionals can get some really great information from these short discussions to make hiring and working with support staff easier and more meaningful for the whole team!

Each video is captioned and can be watched or listened to:

My Differently Abled Life

In this episode, YEAH Council members Emma Parcells and Martin Harvey-Olson discuss how their special healthcare conditions (CRPS, Pots, Lyme Disease, and other diagnoses) affect their day-to-day lives as teens. The conversation was facilitated by Karin Harvey-Olson and recorded by Jennifer Pineo.

Youth as Self Advocates (YASA)

Youth as Self Advocates (YASA), formerly known as Kids as Self Advocates, is a national, grassroots project created by youth with disabilities for you. They are teens and young adults with disabilities speaking out. YASA knows youth can make choices and advocate for themselves if they have the information and support they need. Check out their website for great resources and materials.