Mission and Vision of the YAB
The Youth Action Board began meeting in July of 2020. In August of 2020 they created a mission statement and a tag line for the work that they had planned to do.
Mission – “We are a youth led group that advocates, educates, learns, uses, and gains resources to create a positive change in the ongoing homeless youth problems in our community.”
Vision - “Change Starts somewhere, why not here?”
They plan to review the mission and vision on an annual basis to make sure they collaboratively agree with the mission.
Other goals outlined by the YAB include –
· Support getting the Safe Place Initiative started in the Rapid City area
· Gain an understanding of local resources and service providers
· Apply and hopefully access funds for stronger community solutions
Structure and Work of the YAB:
How long has the YAB been in existence?
They are a relatively new board and due to COVID challenges they initially were only able to meet via zoom. They met via zoom for the first 9 months, and most recently have been meeting in person, but some still keep in touch via zoom.
How many members does the YAB have?
We’ve had a total of 52 young people between the ages of 13 and 24 attend the meetings. The majority of the young people have personally experienced housing challenges. Between 5-16 young people attend each meeting. The YAB requires that at least 2/3 of the membership have lived experienced with housing challenges. Currently, 78% of members have lived experiences.
The YAB has a diverse group of young people at each meeting that is reflective of young people experiencing homelessness in our region. They have young people of color and also young people who identify with the LGBTQ+ community serving on the YAB.
The YAB doesn't track how an individual identifies themselves, however, at the June 22nd meeting the YAB surveyed and collected data about race, sexual orientation, and gender identifiers by members writing on paper and giving it to our mentors. Out of the members in attendance, 63% identify Native American only, and 37% identify Native American and another race. 75% members identify as being a member of the LGBTQ+ community. As to gender conformity, 63% conform to male and/or female, and then 38% are gender fluid.
How often does the YAB meet?
YAB meets twice a month. They meet on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. They also get involved in other meetings as invited and as needed for various consortium and local coalition meetings. They keep in contact with each other through email and text messages.
How are youth and young adults with lived experience recruited for membership in the YAB?
Recruitment for the YAB has been done in a variety of ways. They created a flyer that was shared through social media and posted in high traffic areas. Adult mentors also shared the flyer widely through their professional networks to include the Consortium and the Black Hills Regional Homeless Coalition partners. Personal invites and creating stipends/food availability for the meetings seem to be the most effective recruitment and retention strategies so far. Most of the YAB members are from the Rapid City/Black Hills area, but some members who have moved, utilize ZOOM to stay involved. Currently there is only one YAB in SD, but interest has been expressed in getting one started in the Sioux Falls area and the Aberdeen area. The current YAB is willing to help support those efforts.
Decision-making structure of the YAB.
The YAB often makes decisions by taking the consensus of those in attendance at the meeting. We have some members that take on additional responsibilities (taking notes, facilitation, speaker engagements), but otherwise each person is valued on an equal level as others.
Youth Stipends and Incentives
The YAB has a stipend program that is currently supported by the Consortium. For each 1.5-hour meeting attended, YAB members are eligible to receive a $25 gift card with a $25. stipend per hour for work outside of normal meeting times. They also have a meal served along with snacks and drinks at each of their in-person meetings. If a YAB member actively participates in a Consortium or various other partner meetings, they also earn a stipend based on total amount of prep work and time commitment.
We do not post photos of our Youth Action Board, for privacy.
We believe as an organization, in order to serve youth, we must have youth voices, with lived experience leading our development of supports and services.
We also believe that our Board of Directors directly is accountable to the Youth Action Board and look to our youth leadership to be the voice of change.
Barb current volunteers as a Mentor for the Youth Action Board, working with 13–24-year-old youth, many who have lived experience with homelessness, working with the state Continuum of Care, addressing housing needs in South Dakota.
Vice Chair of the Continuum of Care, South Dakota.
Volunteer for the West River HIV Health Network.
Serves on the LGBTQ2S+ Coalition.
Member of the Black Hills Homeless Coalition.
Chair for Youth Engagement for Communities That Care.
In his personal life, Barb is the father to one son, and two stepdaughters. Barb is married to his husband, Lambert, and identifies as a gay male. His pronouns are He/Him/His.
Lambert has many years of experience in Facilities Management, Operations, Strategic Planning, and Program Management. Lambert filled various roles in, Operations and Productions Management, Maintenance Management, Supply Chain Management, and Facilities Management. to include construction management, facilities maintenance engineering, production logistics, safety and risk management, and installation and energy conservation. Lambert raised two daughters, has five young grandchildren, one boy, four girls, and is a huge dog lover, specifically the boxer breed. He also loves camping, tent or RV.
Stacey has worked in the mental health field for more than thirty years. At Johns Hopkins, she served children and adolescents with psychiatric problems who required intensive outpatient treatment in order to remain in the community but had been unable to access traditional mental health services. While with the Harford Belair Community Mental Health Program, Stacey worked with individuals with a co-occurring drug addiction and a primary mental illness to help individuals achieve sobriety or maintain sobriety. Stacey also provided case management services to RRP clients. As a Utilization Review Coordinator for Sheppard Pratt Health System, Stacey evaluates the medical necessity and appropriateness of proposed care in order to promote quality care for a patients. Stacey has been married for many years and has a very close relationship with her teenage daughter. Stacey recently adopted a dog, and is enjoying watching her puppy Rufus grow.
Pat Benatar: she’s always been a rule-breaker and a trailblazer, she remains a bold and distinctive artist both on stage and on record, and now, after more than three decades in rock ‘n’ roll, she’s a Bonafide living legend.
A four-time Grammy winner, Benatar is a classically trained mezzo-soprano. During the 1980s, Benatar had two RIAA-certified Multi-Platinum albums, five RIAA-certified Platinum albums, three RIAA-certified Gold albums and 19 Top 40 singles, including the Top 10 hits, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot", "Love Is a Battlefield", "We Belong" and "Invincible". During the early days of MTV Benatar was one of the most heavily played artists on the popular music channel. Her hits continue to be as unforgettable now as they were at the dawn of MTV, when Pat emerged, fearless, fighting and forging a path for other female rock stars around the world.
Neil "Spyder" James Giraldo, has been a professional musician, producer, arranger and songwriter for over four decades now, changing the face of the pop charts throughout the 1980s with his collaborator, muse and wife, Pat Benatar. More than just an explosive steel bending guitar player, Giraldo’s innovative vision helped him create the signature Benatar sound, from its inception.
His impressive back catalog includes more than 100 songs written, produced, arranged and recorded for Benatar, as well as many hits he helped create for John Waite, Rick Springfield (Number One, Grammy-winning classic “Jessie’s Girl” and Top Ten hit “I’ve Done Everything For You” included), Kenny Loggins (Top Twenty hit “Don’t Fight It” – also Grammy-nominated), Steve Forbert, The Del Lords, Beth Hart and countless others.
Tracy started her career with the National Park Service as a seasonal interpretive ranger at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in the late 1990’s. After attending graduate school, Tracy started at Everglades National Park in 2007 as a Fisheries Biologist for Florida Bay. She moved to Key West in 2010 to become the Fishery Biologist for Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO), where she successfully implemented the Science Plan for the Research Natural Area within DRTO. For three years, she was the service wide marine ecologist for the Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate in the Water Resource Division, where she coordinated national programs on ocean and coastal issues. For the past two years, Tracy has been the Chief of Resource of Management and Science for the National Parks of Eastern North Carolina and was based in Manteo, NC, before moving into her new role as Science Advisor, Inventory and Monitoring Division, at the National Parks Service.
Tracy brings a wealth of experience from the national parks in the Southeast and a strong park management perspective.
Tracy’s passions include traveling to National Parks, running, hiking, SCUBA diving, and being outdoors, especially with her dogs, Panda, Jelly and June Bug. She recently relocated to Colorado, for her new role with National Parks Service.
Katie's role as Clinical Operations Manager for the Blalock Taussig Thomas Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center at Johns Hopkins allows her the opportunity to work with children and families as they navigate diagnosis, treatment, and their new normal.
Katie's primary goal is to make it easy for patients, and their loved ones.
Katie is a hugger, and feeder, by nature, and loves that she is able to truly connect with people when they are most vulnerable. So much attention is paid to treating and diagnosing disease, and often the siblings, extended family and friends are not recognized as needing the same level of support, this is where Katie steps in.
Katie and her husband Lowell have two sons, a golden retriever, and two cats.
Dr. Katie Edwards, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln where she directs the Interpersonal Violence Research Laboratory. Using community-based participatory action research, Dr. Edwards seeks to answer two questions in her work: (1) How do we prevent sexual and related forms of violence? and (2) How do we most effectively support survivors in the aftermath of violent victimization? Much of Dr. Edwards work focuses on minoritized populations, specifically Native American/Indigenous youth and families as well as LGBTQ+ youth. Dr. Edwards highly values community leadership in developing and evaluating (including the use of decolonized research approaches) strengths-focused, culturally grounded initiatives to prevent and respond to sexual and related forms of violence. To date, she has published more than 160 peer reviewed journal articles, and over the past 10 years has accrued over 9 million dollars in federal funding from the CDC, NIH, NIJ, OVW, and NSF. In her free time, Dr. Edwards enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her partner and their three rescue cats.
I am an attorney at Julius and Simpson LLP in Rapid City South Dakota. We are a two-person law firm where we work to represent the interests of injured people, in personal injury and worker’s compensation.
My passions are serving children and families in need. I have a special interest in connecting with and serving homeless population in the Black Hills area. I’m also passionate about equal rights. So, the LGBTQ+ Family Connections Center was a natural choice for me to commit my time expertise and passions.
I’ve been married to my husband for over 28 years, and we have three adult children- our oldest daughter is an RN, and our two sons are in college, one studying to be an educator and the other an engineer. In my off-work hours, I love to hike in the beautiful Black Hills. My boys have recently gotten us hooked on hiking 14ers in Colorado. My boys have summited nearly half of the 58 peaks over 14,000 feet- I have a pretty healthy fear of heights so I am pretty proud to have conquered 3.
I believe, in both my work and personal life, that making connections and developing relationships is essential in order for all human beings to thrive. I tried to live my life with the motto “meet people where they are but do your best not to leave them there.”
I currently serve as mental health promotion, communication, and literacy specialist at Stepped Care Solutions. I am responsible for developing, managing, and executing outreach plans to promote access to mental health and substance use resources in various jurisdictions. I am currently based in Portland, OR.
I hold degrees in global development and medicine. I am currently a Master of Public Health student at Oregon Health and Science University - Portland State University (OHSU-PSU) School of Public Health. I have a background in mental health service delivery, with a focus on increasing access to (tele)mental health services for children.
I am building a COVID-19 resource navigation platform with the Institute of People, Places, and Possibility (IP3) and the American Public Health Association (APHA) and providing expertise in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility.
I like to go on long hikes and play tennis.
Denis Volobuev leads all technology strategy, development, and experience for the flagship retail collaboration center on the heart of the St. Louis Brewery & HQ.
Denis works with retailers to bring a seamless tech experience to the top retailer partners around the country & drive business outcomes for Anheuser-Busch.
Denis is passionate in educating those around him about technology and continually learning more about the space. He is interested in creating & developing technology that would enable youth to be setup for success in their future. Denis is motivated with dreaming big and working towards helping the LGBTQ+ community.
Denis lives in St. Louis with his boyfriend Matt and they love to spend their free time traveling and watching football.