Youth Activities & Events

We list numerous educational, collaborative and emotional support opportunities for youth brought to you by PSN and our community partners.
Last updated October 7, 2021

PSN Community Collaborative Meetings (Welcome to Public!) 
Youth Voice Matters!  Are you interested in reducing youth mental health stigma and supporting youth voice? Please join us for our next meeting where you will have the opportunity to meet and hear from members in our community who have the same interest. Service hours available. Please sign up for our newsletter to hear about upcoming meetings.

Please also refer to Community Activities & Events for additional events and announcements!

 

OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2021 

10/15 To Be Honest – program of Momentum for Health, Youth Advisory Board applications due (14-25 in Santa Clara County)  

10/15 Last day to participate ACCESS Survey by Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing and John W. Gardner Center to inform culturally responsive mental health spaces (youth ages 16-25 and their parents/guardians)

The Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing and the John W. Gardner Center at Stanford University are inviting youth ages 16-25 and parents/guardians to participate in their ACCESS Survey by October 15, 2021 to better inform the creation of culturally responsive mental health spaces. Using a youth-driven approach, the ACCESS (Anti-Racist, Culturally-Minded Community Education, Support, and Services) Project will investigate racial, cultural, and stigma-related barriers to mental health access. 

Participants will be eligible to be entered in a raffle to receive a gift card and some will be asked to participate in a focus group at a later date. If participants choose to enter the raffle, their email addresses will be entered into the raffle to be conducted no later than October 9, 2021. The drawing will be conducted by the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Department of Psychiatry in Palo Alto, California. Participation in the study is not required in order to participate in the raffle. Participants can enter the raffle if they do not start or complete the survey. The chance of winning a prize is approximately 1/30. The winner will be notified immediately by email and provided with information on how to receive the prize. 

Questions? Please contact julesvc@stanford.edu or call (650) 313-4553. For participant’s rights questions, contact 1-866-680-2906. IRB#: 60310; Approval Date: May 09, 2021.

Take the survey herehttps://stanforduniversity.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d3Y7Cn78WDS6vUG 

The survey should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

 

10/20, 5 PM – 6:30 PM| Assemblymember Marc Berman’s virtual Youth Town Hall (#YouthVoice on ideas, vision, questions, views)

10/22 by 5 PM | Student Advisory Board 2021-22 with Congressmember Anna Eshoo applications due (high school-aged youth in 18th Congressional District)

11/19 To Be Honest Art Contest on Joy is Resilience art submissions due (14-25 in Santa Clara County)

 


Group Opportunities for Youth in Summer and Fall 2021! 

Stakeholder Leadership Committee (SLC)
Santa Clara County Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Stakeholder Leadership Committee (SLC) provides input and advises County Behavioral Health Services Department in MHSA planning and implementation activities.
Vacant seats: client/consumers, disabilities community, veterans advocate, South County representative, college age representative, LGBTQ TAY Youth. Open to individuals ages 16 and up
Submit Mon, June 21, 2021

Girls* Advisory Team (GAT)
Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Policy’s Girls* Advisory Team (GAT) works on creating opportunities for empowerment, awareness, and education. Training and networking culminate in development and implementation of annual Strong Girls, Strong Women Conference in March. Girls refer to gender expansive youth (cis girls, trans girls, non-binary youth, gender non-conforming youth, gender queer youth and any girl-identified youth.) Open to high school students who live and study in Santa Clara County
Submit by Wed, June 30, 2021

Youth Connectedness Initiative Peer Leaders Program
Youth Connectedness Initiative is a Youth Community Service program working to create connections in the community and raise mental health awareness. Youth Connectedness Initiative Peer leaders work in teams to develop service-learning projects that address what they identify as needs and gaps in feeling a sense of belonging to their communities, building healthy relationships and youth well-being. Their projects are showcased in the YCI parent/adult allies programs and in various youth forums and collaborations. Open to high school students in Palo Alto and the surrounding area.

Teen Library Advisory Board (TLAB)
Teen Library Advisory Board members assist the library on programs, brainstorm creative ways to promote library materials, and help with the new podcast, Shelf Speak. Open to grades 8-12.
Contact Molly at libraryteens@cityofpaloalto.org and schedule a chat to join!

SafeSpace Youth Action Board (SYAB)
Safespace Youth Action Board empowers young people to engage with their local communities by promoting mental health awareness, reducing the stigma of getting help, and developing solutions to improve the lives of all young people. Youth Action Board members collaborate with numerous schools in the Bay Area, working to spearhead mental health initiatives at their schools and communities. Members also produce mental wellness videos! Open to all high schoolers. 

Youth Advisory Board 2021-22
Youth Advisory Board members work with Outlet and San Mateo County Pride Center to help plan, organize, and publicize youth programming. Members provide input on services and resources for youth 14-25 years old. They also help the LGBTQ+ community by getting their friends and peers involved, sharing information about events, and bringing input and suggestions from community members Open to individuals ages 14-25 in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.


Please join Project Safety Net and our community partners in celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month this May 2021! 

Virtual Teen Workshop (14+)
Hosted by Palo Alto Art Center
Sunday, May 16, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Explore The Black Index exhibition through this workshop designed especially for teens ages 14 and up. Meet the exhibition curator, Bridget R. Cooks and hear about her vision for the show. Artist Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle will introduce her work in a slide presentation, showcasing her performative drawing process. Then, join playwright Leelee Jackson as she leads a looking and writing activity, performing some of the resulting works with actors invited especially for the workshop.

Manifesting Good Days: Building Resilient Communities
May 17 – 21, 2021
San Mateo County and community partners are presenting a 5-day youth conference to heal and educate on mental health challenges and substance use.

Introduction to Mindfulness for Teens 
Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
City of Palo Alto hosts a Wellness Wednesday event series focused on building community wellness and well being! Upcoming webinar is on mindfulness,  a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. This introduction to mindfulness is for teens and will involve breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress. 

2021 SLAM Youth Conference (12-18)
Hosted by AACI Youth Programs
Save the Date: May 20-22, 2021
AACI Youth Programs is excited to host the 2021 SLAM Youth Conference with our FNL Youth Council! SLAM is a 3 day virtual conference on Zoom where you’ll gain meaningful knowledge and skills in the sports, leadership, arts, and media fields through interactive presentations and workshops with professionals. You’ll meet youth from all over Santa Clara County to feel inspired to find your own strength and hope to pursue your dream and goals, to know that you are not alone, and to know that you are part of a community that cares about you and your wellbeing.

allcove Youth Advisory Group (South San Mateo, 16-25)
Apply by May 28, 2021
Stanford Psychiatry’s Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing is looking to select a group of youth from Southern San Mateo County (Redwood City, East Palo Alto, and surrounding area) who represent the diversity of the Bay Area across race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, lived experience, ability, and socio-economic status (with a focus on youth coming from underrepresented communities, such as first-generation and immigrant families) to talk about and engage with youth mental health efforts. Small stipend provided for all accepted YAG members!

Art Show on Youth Mental Health (grades 8 -12)
Submit by May 28, 2021
Advocacy Through Art, in conjunction with Pacific Art League and Palo Alto Art Center, is hosting its inaugural art show about youth mental health in June. Calling all artists ages 13-19 to contribute art pieces of all mediums that address “your experience with mental health during the pandemic.” 

LGBTQ+ Peer Advisory Committee (18+)
Apply by May 31, 2021

The Q Corner is seeking LGBTQ+ community members to help inform and grow their services. They are looking forward to partnering with LGBTQ+ community members to bring fresh perspective and guidance on ideas for events, community needs, collaboration opportunities, and more.

Hope and Justice Art Contest  (12-25)
Submit by May 31, 2021
Directing Change is a program that engages youth to learn about mental health, suicide prevention, and other critical health and social justice topics through film and art. This month, they invite youth to share how you are “More Than One”. Create art in any form that shares how you’re living beyond limiting labels, how you find strength when you feel alone, and your hope for increased representation in the future.

To Be Honest Art Contest (14-25, Santa Clara County)
Submit by June 11, 2021
To Be Honest is calling for art pieces that express thoughts/feelings/perceptions around self-care. What does self-care look like for you and how does your self-care benefit your mental health?

To Be Honest Podcast
To Be Honest produces a behavioral health-focused podcast. They are seeking for teens and young adults to be guests! Do you have a mental health experience that you want to share with others? Are you a mental health advocate? Do you want to reduce the stigma around mental health? If you are interested, please email Avery at tbh.today@gmail.com. You can also submit a form via the website.


Local Youth Mental Health Advocacy Groups

Advocacy Through Art
A collective of high schoolers across Palo Alto using art to facilitate conversations regarding important issues in the the community. Advocacy Through Art’s 2021 theme of the year focuses on mental health. They aim to use to art to reduce stigma, spread awareness, and facilitate conversations.

LETS BC2M Program at Palo Alto High School
LETS (Lets Erase The Stigma) BC2M is a high school program dedicated to erasing the stigma of mental illness by increasing education and awareness, fostering student empowerment, building mentoring opportunities, and encouraging youth to change the perception of mental health in their schools and communities. This student-led club initiative allows all teens the opportunity to learn and explore more about mental health topics in a safe and supportive environment. As students engage and talk about mental health, we allow them to normalize the conversation and eliminate stigma within their community.

Nightlight Bay Area
Nightlite is dedicated to raising awareness about mental health and breaking the stigma that surrounds the topic. 1 in 5 teenagers suffer from mental illness in the United States. Nightlite’s primary focus is on breaking down the walls that prevent us from talking openly about mental illness, and about spreading awareness of how students can take care of themselves and their own mental health.

Palo Alto Alumni Dialogues (Local, on hiatus)
Learn about upcoming organized Palo Alto High School and Gunn High School Alumni dialogues on growing-up in Palo Alto and how their lives have changed.

Project Oyster 
Student-run podcast aiming to destigmatize mental health through the power of storytelling.

ROCK (Reach Out, Care, Know)/ Sources of Strength at Gunn High School
Gunn’s student-led peer support network known as ROCK (for “Reach Out. Care. Know.”), founded in 2009 in response to student suicides. Through trainings, outreach and activities, ROCK members offer social and emotional support for any student needing a safe and sympathetic ear. Contact Gunn Advisor Paul Dunlap.

Youth Connectedness Initiative (YCI) 
Through this program of Youth Community Services, students known as YCI Peer Leaders develop fun and meaningful service learning projects that increase youth well-being and connectedness. They produce workshops and videos to raise the awareness of the importance of youth feeling a sense of belonging in their communities and building healthy relationships that help youth thrive.

Youth Speaks Out (Gunn and Palo Alto High School)
Students in the Youth Speaks Out Art Program at Palo Alto & Gunn High share the experience of being young in our community, through the direct artistic expression of painting, photography, poetry and creative writing, ceramics and sculpture. Contact Carolyn Digovitch


Other Youth Opportunities
We are currently in the process of updating this page. Please note that some information may not be up to date. 
Last updated May 11, 2021

Think Fund
via City of Palo Alto

Fund your projects and ideas and make them come to life with the City of Palo Alto’s Think Fund! Get money for your idea, as well as mentorship and support in order to make your vision a reality. No idea is too big or too small. If you’re in high school and have an idea for a short-term or long-term project, meet with the Teen Program Specialist to discuss how you can transform your blueprint into a footprint!  Check out Palo Online’s recent article on students who have benefited from a grant.

Get Involved Palo Alto
Get Involved PA aims to provide high school students opportunities to engage in service learning and professional development while making a meaningful community impact.

Leaders for Education, Advocacy and Democracy (LEAD)
LEAD is an advocacy program of AACI’s. LEAD empowers youth to be active in their communities. Students undergo a series of skills and leadership trainings to help them critically assess social issues in their community and design viable solutions. Students have the opportunity to collaborate with corporate and public partners and prepare for the professional world. Students are paired with one of our 40+ government and advocacy-based partner offices to receive hands-on experience working with professionals as well as gaining vital networking and public-speaking skills.

New Voices for Youth
(via Leagues of Women Voters of Palo Alto and San Mateo County)
New Voices For Youth is an after school program for youth designed to encourage civic engagement through the media arts. Students will learn how to write, direct, edit and screen digital movies about an issue in their community.

Palo Alto Teens Art Council
The Teen Arts Council is a creative community of Palo Alto teens dedicated to enriching the lives of their peers through artistic expression. Members coordinate events and projects inspired by the passions of council members.

Palo Alto Teen Advisory Board (TAB)
The Palo Alto Teen Advisory Board is made up of Palo Alto high school students who want to plan and lead high school events for teens in Palo Alto. The TAB mission is to represent and support the diverse voices of teens in the Palo Alto community. TAB focuses on further enhancing the community by serving as links between teen programs and encouraging teen involvement.

Palo Alto Youth Council (PAYC)
PAYC is made up of 15 high school students that attend school or live in Palo Alto. Youth Council members are appointed through and application and interview process. PAYC works closely with City of Palo Alto’s recreation department and reports yearly to the City Council to contribute information on issues related to Palo Alto youth. PAYC also studies problems, activities and concerns of the youth; hold forums on these issues and implements new community programs. PAYC members meet once per week and serve for one year.

Youth Community Service (YCS) Volunteer Opportunities
YCS engages young people from diverse Mid-Peninsula communities in meaningful service-based learning. YCS youth build leadership and life skills, gain empathy for others, and build a sense of connectedness, purpose and efficacy while making a positive difference in the lives of others.