FAQ: Student Health Advocates

Who is eligible to apply?

Youth between the ages 14-22 who live in the Portland-Metro area are eligible to apply. 


What is the time commitment?

The Student Health Advocates meet every other Wednesday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. These times are subject to change due to the needs of the members. You can expect an additional 1-10 hours a month to prepare for community events. These events include, but are not limited to,  planning an event, facilitating trainings for healthcare professionals, or sitting on a health panel to represent the youth voice.   


Do I need my parent or guardian’s permission to join? 

If you are under 18, we need a caregiver’s permission to join the Student Health Advocates. We travel throughout the Portland Metro area and beyond to go to events across the state, and we must have your guardian’s permission to do so. 


I don’t have past leadership experience. Can I still apply? 

Yes! We believe passion and willingness to learn are two key components in being a successful Student Health Advocate. Plus, you can and will get leadership experience when you join.


I’ve never participated in a group like this before. What if I don’t fit in?

At the beginning of the program, we will create ground rules and set expectations to maintain and uphold a safe and inclusive environment. We will also plan team building activities throughout the school year to help build relationships within the group! Don’t forget you will be joining a group that shares the same interest in health equity as you. You already have something in common!  


I have accessibility needs, will you be providing accommodations? 

We do our best to accommodate all youth's needs!  We have a spot on the application form asking if you have accessibility needs, please be sure to fill out what your needs are. We will make sure you have what you need to be successful in applying and beyond.   


I have dietary restrictions. Will there be food for me? 

Yes! Please be sure to write your dietary needs in your application form, and we will be sure to accommodate it!


How will I get paid? Do I need a bank account? 

We give a $700 yearly stipend (made out in two $350 checks) and provide other stipends for smaller events throughout the year. If you don’t have a bank account, you can cash the check at our bank, Pacific Continental Bank. They will cash the check for free if you have a state-issued ID. They will also need your address and a fingerprint, which they will take on-site. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We provide financial training to make sure you feel confident!

Do I have to pay taxes?

The stipend you receive from OSBHA is taxable income. You or your caregiver/s may need to report money that you make from OSBHA when you fill out your tax return. Student Health Advocates are considered “Independent Consultants” in the tax world, not employees of OSBHA, which means that we have not taken taxes out of the money we pay you. We provide financial literacy training to help you better understand what this means, although we do not provide tax advice


I’ve applied. Now what? 

You will hear back from us about a week after the applications close.


Who should I contact for further information?

For more information, please contact our Youth Programs Coordinator, Mykia Hernandez at mykia@osbha.org or 503-719-4515 ext.103.