Student Health Advocates

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What is an Oregon Student Health Advocate?

Youth voice is a critical priority for us at the Oregon-School Based Health Alliance (OSBHA). Student Health Advocates promote the value of school-based health across Oregon. OSBHA offers this leadership opportunity to young people, ages 14-22, in the Portland Metro area who are interested in becoming a voice not only for their own health, but the health of their peers and community. 

Student Health Advocates have the opportunity to plan, facilitate, and participate in dynamic professional development activities and events across Oregon. Student Health Advocates help plan statewide conferences, speak publicly about health and wellness issues affecting young people, meet with legislators to advocate for school-based health, and train providers in how to provide youth-friendly care. Student Health Advocates serve as representatives for OSBHA in peer-led trainings, advocacy campaigns, and presentations. OSBHA serves as an advisor to the advocates, helping with logistics and sharing the Student Health Advocate views and projects with local, state, and national partners.

What does a Student Health Advocate do?

  • Represent and advocate for School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) and school-based health services in Oregon.
  • Advocate for equitable and youth-friendly healthcare.
  • Organize and facilitate statewide projects, and workshops for youth, healthcare professionals and others.

How do I become a Student Health Advocate?

Applications are now open for our 2018-2019 Student Health Advocate program! Deadline to apply is Thursday, September 20, 2018.   

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with OSBHA Student Health Advocates, please contact Antonia Rangel-Caril at antonia@osbha.org or 503-719-4515. Feel free to check out our FAQ page. 

Meet our Student Health Advocate Leads:


Antonia Rangel-Caril
Pronouns: she/her
Program and Advocacy Coordinator

 As the Program and Advocacy Coordinator, I am excited to support the Student Health Advocates promote better health care for all youth in Oregon. If you or your organization is looking for highly skilled and passionate healthcare advocates to stimulate and engage your youth community, please feel free to contact me directly at antonia@osbha.org






Haylee Williams
Pronouns: she/her
Student Health Advocates Coach

Being new to the Portland area a few years ago and attending a new high school senior year I did not know where I fit in. I had left my hometown, everything and everyone I’d grown up with, gone was everything familiar. I felt lost and then I asked myself: What is my role in this new community? What can I contribute? And what does it have to offer me? It was through joining the Tigard High School SHAC club that I was presented with the opportunity to apply to be a part of the OSBHA’s Statewide Youth Action Council (SYAC). I was accepted and things took off. Suddenly I was able to be a part of local policy, able to develop trainings, work with health professionals to create ad campaigns, testify at the state Capitol and so much more. Those reading this might think wow what great resume material! But it’s more than that, OSBHA through its SYAC and Student Health Advocates (SHA) programs have allowed me to grow as a person in ways that go beyond what's on paper. I’ve gained new lenses in how I see and approach the needs of my community, I’ve gained the ability to turn passion into action, I’ve gotten to realize my own identity as a young leader of colour and the responsibility that that carries. Working with OSBHA as a young person is one of those experiences that cannot be simplified to a few bullet points or sentences. But what can be said is that it means the world to me. They helped me get through high school and now they’re helping me get through college by giving us as a cohort the freedom to create and find projects statewide that foster the growth of our character, our professional skills, our local networks, and most importantly it allows us to take care of those around us and ensure that health and wellness of our peers is a priority for our state’s government.
 

Meet our 2017-2018 Student Health Advocates:


Amakan Ette
Pronouns: he/him
Student Health Advocate

My name is Amakan Ette. I'm a freshman who attends David Douglas High School. I'm a student athlete. I'm glad I'm a part of SHA because it's a welcoming and fun place to be. I'm also glad I'm a part of SHA because I wanna be connected and tuned in with many students and student athlete across Oregon and with their schools. I did umoja and I'm still currently apart of the one and only group called UMOJA KIJANA SHUJAA here in Portland.










Morgan Gallardo
Student Health Advocate

Morgan comes to SYAC with 4 years experience in advocacy and working with Milwaukie High School's Youth Advisory Council. Morgan is passionate about feminism, including reproductive rights, and LGBT rights, as well as equal representation and treatment for all in the healthcare system.











Cindy Wu
Pronouns: she/her
Student Health Advocate

I am passionate in advocating on behalf of school-based health centers because I want to be a voice not only for me but for the health of my peers and communities. I believe that we should all have access to health care regardless of income and insurance status.










Deza’Rae Collins
Pronouns: she/ her
Student Health Advocate

Deza'Rae is a 22-year-old undergraduate honors student at Portland State University, majoring in psychology and social science and minoring in biology. She is a BUILD EXITO scholar whose interests include mental health awareness, social and racial justice, and the various social constructs that impact marginalized population. Deza’Rae has volunteered at numerous non-profit organizations including the Salvation Army, Union Gospel Mission, and her local Boys and Girls Club, as well as mentored incarcerated youth at the Juvenile Justice Department GAP Program located in Salem, Oregon. As a student health advocate Deza’Rae hopes to reinforce the importance of access to Medicaid health insurance and increase mental health care services in student health centers for our youth.






James Biggers
Pronouns: he/him
Student Health Advocate

James is a twenty-one year old Clackamas High School graduate and has been with the Oregon School Based Health Alliance and SHA since October of 2013. He has been a proud team member since the beginning. His passion for community health and wellness and drive to create new and interesting projects has made his time with the organization truly wonderful. He hopes that he can bring his experience to the new team of motivated and amazing advocates to make SHA the most successful it has ever been.








Jennifer Cruz
Pronouns: she/ her
Student Health Advocate

My story is like many others students’ on the journey to reaching life dreams and aspirations. A lot of us are living the same journey, even though it feels unique to me, I know there is a relatableness that I can share with many. My name is also unique to me, I am Jennifer Cruz Hernandez. I am a senior at Liberty High School in Hillsboro, OR. I take part in the Student Health Advocacy Program, Student Equity Team, the district Citizens Curriculum Advisory Committee, and IGNiTE program. Through these activities I have found my passion in Equity and social justice. Fortunately, they have allowed me to advocate for and serve my community. I’m not sure where my college tuition is, what college I’m going to go to, how to follow my dreams. But what I do know, is that when I’m helping my community, it’s worth it. It matters. My life purpose is to serve, empower, and inspire families and students who face the life conditions of being disadvantaged and underrepresented. I will serve others through the field of education, social work, and speaking to ignite the spark within my community. My career interest will assist me to achieve my life purpose by having my knowledge grow to get conversations started and give more knowledge to others so that success among us only increases. Everyone deserves to be represented. Everyone deserves to be heard. Everyone deserves an opportunity and to be supported through it.


Meg Feely
Pronouns: she/ her
Student Health Advocate

Megan Feely is a junior Biochemistry student at PSU. She is a member of Phi Delta Epsilon medical fraternity, a Build Exito scholar, and a lab assistant in Dr. Marilyn Mackiewicz’s lab studying Alzheimer’s disease progression. Summer of 2019 she will be applying to OHSU medical school, where she hopes to remain a part of the OHSU community during her residency and career as well. Megan has strong passions for women’s health, pediatrics, gynecology, and youth voice in healthcare. During High school, Megan volunteered a combined 1,200 hours at the Oregon Zoo as a ZooTeen and at Outdoor school as a student leader. As a ZooTeen she taught visitors and zoo campers the value of sustainability and the environment. During her time at Outdoor school Megan lead discussions with sixth graders about the role soil plays in the health of the forest. She is currently volunteering at the Oregon School Based Health Alliance as a Student Youth Advocate. Within the last three years she has helped pass bill HB 4002 through the Oregon Legislature, which is a bill funding Oregon schools to train teachers on how to be more trauma informed. She has lobbied to Senators and Representatives to continue funding School Based Health Centers. Finally, she has lead four Eye-to-Eye training sessions to health care professionals in areas like Bend and Corvallis.


Melissa Muñoz
Pronouns: she/ her
Student Health Advocate

Melissa Muñoz is 16 and has lived in Portland, OR almost all her life. This year Melissa is a participant in the Student Health Advocate cohort. Melissa is also involved in another cohort called Youth Education Advocates or YEA! at a non-profit organization called Momentum Alliance. This year Melissa has tried to occupy herself more with social justice issues in society by joining social justice organizations, events, programs, cohorts, etc. While being here at OSBHA, Melissa is eager to learn more about school-based health centers and what she can do to help to improve the healthcare/medical system.







River Anderson
Pronouns: he/him
Student Health Advocate

River Anderson is a 14 year old trans foster youth. He attends Jason Lee Middle School. River joined OSBHA Student Health Advocates with a deep passion for connecting with his peers and community. River is involved with Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center, SMYRC and regularly attends meetings, workshops, and youth LGBTQ events. River enjoys spaces where he can listen, learn, and connect with other LGBTQ youth. River is excited to learn more about healthcare, his impact on the community, and building his leadership skills.