Youth Advisory Board
What is it?
The Youth Advisory Board was created in 2019 to give young people an opportunity to have a stronger voice about youth mental health in Iowa. Youth Advisory Board members assess youth mental health needs, develop action projects and advise Please Pass the Love on youth programming. Our board is compromised of amazing youth from across our state.
The board meets virtually once a month, August-May. They work on a variety of projects throughout the year in order to increase mental health supports for young people across our state.
Applications now open for 2021/2022 school year! If you are in grade 9- age 21, live in Iowa, care about mental health, want to let other young people know that it's OK to not be OK.....consider applying today! BIPOC and LGBTQ youth are strongly encouraged to apply.
Deadline to apply is May 19, 2021.
Meet the 2020 Board
Hello! My name is Alex Stansberry, my pronouns are They/Them/Theirs, and I’m a senior at Storm Lake High School. Throughout my high school career I’ve been an active member of my school’s GSA, choir, art club, drama, robotics, and speech programs. I am a member of NHS and a former gifted child. In my free time I love to sing and listen to music. If I’m not on stage you can find me cosplaying or combing the local beaches for sea glass. As I worked through my own struggles with mental health, Please Pass The Love has been a wonderful resource to find ways to help myself and reach out, and I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing organization. After high school I plan on majoring in theatre arts and getting my mortuary certification. My favorite quote is from Gerard Way, “keep your bad vibes out of my cornflakes. I’m not interested.”
Hello! I’m Alexis Bader, and I am a junior at East High School in Sioux City. I am involved in various after-school activities. I am apart of Student Council, March for Our Lives, Stomp Out Stigma, MVP, GSA, and Environmental Club. In my free time, I work at a movie theater and volunteer at a hospital. This will be my second term on the Youth Advisory Board and I couldn’t be more excited! Bringing mental health awareness into schools is essential. Students deserve to feel that they are safe and not alone in school. Schools need to offer more resources and a safer environment to students who are struggling. I believe that we can make a difference in Iowa schools and stomp out the stigma!
I am a student at Waukee High School. I enjoy participating in many activities, such as taekwondo, in which I am a second degree black belt ( I will test for third later this year).Of course, apart from these activities, I enjoy volunteering my time and abilities to a wide variety of places, from martial art academies to Please Pass the Love itself! I find that helping others is a great way to push my own difficulties away. Mental health is a subject of great importance to me. I have been exposed to the impacts of poor mental health in a vast number of experiences. This is a topic that is gaining support and understanding, but the people of this world can always understand more. Now is the perfect opportunity for awareness to be spread. After high school, I hope to enroll in a college that allows me to study for a B.S/M.D degree explore the different fields of Health and Medicine!
Hi. My name is Claudia Gay. I am 16 years old and will be a junior at George Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I participate in swimming, triathlons, and policy debate. I also am in band and orchestra at my school. I am excited to see what the board can accomplish this year! Mental health matters to me because I have seen the affects of it first hand in my classmates and they dont get the support they need. After high school I plan to attend college to get a law degree.
Hello! My name is Ellie Huber, I'm now a 9th grader at North High School! I'm involved in programs and after school activities, such as, I was a WEB leader all 8th-grade year, president of yearbook/newspaper, GSA president for a period of time, I worked with Special Olympics as a volunteer as well, I'm a soccer player, and I'm involved with movement 515, and I love debate! I play instruments and write in my free time as well! I found out about Please Pass The Love through movement 515 which lead me to go to a mental health conference in October! Bringing awareness to mental health especially in youth is such a big deal to me! Not only because of my struggles being pushed off because I'm “just a teenager” but because of the fact that I’ve watched the people I love change and fall into horrible habits because of how they feel. Students and even staff need to know its ok to talk about it! Schools need more outlets for students! I really think together when can stomp out that stigma surrounding mental health!
Hi! My name is Grace Kohler and I am a Junior at Iowa City High School. I am an active Girl Scout and my troop hosts many events for younger girls. We also go camping and are currently fundraising for our Europe trip next year! At St. Marks, we travel to struggling communities to help where we can for a week on our mission trips. But alas, COVID-19 postponed our trip this year until next year. I am part of City High's backstage and construction crew as theater was my passion during my Junior High years. But most importantly, mental health is important to me because I have been suffering from anxiety and depression most of my life, and it is important that we share our stories to raise awareness and make sure no one feels alone. Adding on, many of my close friends also have mental illnesses. And finally, after college, I want to focus on being a CPS Agent because I want to help children who are being raised in unsafe environments and by abusive guardians.
Hey - I'm Ian Grimes and I am currently going into my sophomore year at Dallas Center - Grimes High School. Although I don't know what my plans are for the future yet, I do know that I enjoy drawing and writing. I've even been honored with gold and silver medals in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in the last two years. Apart from drawing and writing, I enjoy helping people. I have been told that I am a confident and well-rounded speaker publicly, and that I am affirming for all, no matter what their circumstances may be. My personal experiences with diversity (being trans) allow me to relate to others in similar circumstances and be able to empathize with their experiences.
Growing up with compromised mental health myself, I want it to be my duty to help kids in similar situations so they don't have to grow up with a lack of major support in the education system. I want to prevent other people from feeling the isolation that I've felt and still feel, both in and out of school. Being a part of the youth advisory board gives me new purpose and motivation to help those who are similar to me.
Hi! My name is Libby Albright and I'm now a sophomore at South Tama County High School in Tama, Iowa. At my school, I'm involved in concert, marching, pep, community, and jazz band, choir, show choir, student council, GSA, speech, and Thespian Society. My interests include performing, writing, reading(specifically personal development books), and political and social justice work. I've volunteered at the 2020 Democratic Caucus and Kaden's Kloset as well as at various events with my school's GSA and student council. I am passionate about mental health because I understand the pressing need for safe, understanding environments in schools and communities where advocating for your mental health is as simple and safe as it should be. I am very concerned about everyone's mental health during the current pandemic, so the need for advocacy is even greater. I am also very passionate about education, so I hope to one day obtain my doctorate in education and work in educational policy and administration.
Hey there! I'm Maddie and I am a junior at Ames High School. I am very passionate about mental health awareness and social justice. I am a part of DECA, Mental Health Club, Sacre, Dance Marathon, National Honors society and I also do peer PE, working with special need students at my high school. Along with these activities I do a yearly toy drive for children who are victims of child abuse and neglect. This past year I started a girls mentor program through the Ames Middle school and highschool to give support to younger girls, talk about todays issues, volunteer and build relationships through our community. I currently am taking human development classes at Iowa State to further my education and become a social worker in a hospital or school to help children who faced traumas and need mental health support. I can't wait to be a member of this new team and I am so excited for whats to come.
Social Media Manager
Hi! My name is Maggie Patten, and I am a junior at Waukee High School. I’m very involved in the music program at WHS and am a member of our top varsity show choir, our top concert choir, and will be auditioning to participate in the all-state honor choir for the second time this fall. I am involved in a mental health awareness club at my school that works with two of our five counselors to evaluate the climate of our school, develop projects and programs to better our school, and present to our staff about our perspectives on mental health at WHS as students. In my free time, I babysit, work in the nursery at a church in my community, volunteer, and spend time with my two cats. I am so excited to be a part of the Youth Advisory Board this year, and I can’t wait to make a difference in our schools!
Social Media Manager
Hello! My name is Marissa and I'm a student at Nevada high school. I'm involved in a lot of extracurricular activities, but some of my favorites are my school's fall play, student ambassadors, and being president of my own stomp out stigma group at Nevada. I'm also very passionate about volunteering and I hope to travel to South Africa in 2021 on a conservation trip. Mental health is important to me because I've experienced the affects on friends and family first hand. My goal is to create a culture at my own school where we can eliminate stigma and be supportive of one another. That's why I'm especially excited about serving a second year on the youth advisory board. Although I'm uncertain about my future plans, I hope to get my bachelor's in environmental science and travel the globe.
Hi, my name is Sophia Schillinger. I will be a freshman this upcoming fall at St. Olaf in Northfield, Minnesota. I will be majoring in Psychology, with a concentration of Environmental Studies. My volunteering started at my church. I worked the community meals, went to the food bank for youth groups as well as the Waterloo Catholic Worker House. But my favorite volunteer opportunity at my church is the lasagna dinner we put on. I am usually a waiter and love getting to see so many faces that night. I was also a part of Teen Trust, a volunteer program for high school students in Black Hawk County that allocates a grant to a non-profit in need. My all time favorite volunteering is picking up trash around my school and cleaning out the recycling bins. The environment is a really big interest of mine and I love to know I am helping it and living a sustainable life.
This summer, I volunteered for the grassroots campaign Environment Iowa. I phone banked, held zoom meetings, went to zoom events, signed petitions, contacted local businesses, etc, with the goal of bringing awareness to environmental issues and making some progress towards sustainability.
Mental health matters to me because it's real and more and more adolescents are experiencing mental health issues. It is as real as a broken leg. People may not acknowledge it as much as a broken leg, but I want to change that. I want everyone to feel like their mental health is important and necessary to take care of, and that they have a support system, like I do. I am very excited about being on the student board for Please Pass the Love and bringing mental health awareness to every person I meet.
Hello! My name is Tatum Lillibridge. I am a senior at Ames High School. I am involved in many activities at school. I am Co-President of the Mental Health Club. I am on the National Honor society. I’m involved in DECA, and the Homecoming Committee. I have been a part of FCCLA. This year I am planning on doing Dance Marathon, and will be a Senior mentor. I help out with the peers with special needs program and I also swim. In addition to school activities, I take American Sign Language at Iowa State. I work at Childserve in Ames, and I volunteer at Food at First and Cultivating Hope Farms. In my free time I like to swim and hang out with my friends and family. Mental health is important to me because so many people in my life have struggled with mental health. I want to bring awareness to this issue and let people know they are not alone and that they have someone to turn to in times of need. I have personally struggled with mental health in the past and I know that it is important for people to realize that there is more to life then what may appear. I believe that mental health issues need more visibility so that youth and adults can understand the positive impact that they might be able to have on those around them. My favorite quote is “You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell, You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is part of the battle” - Julian Seifter. After High school I plan to go to college to help children, teens and adults with special needs and communication disorders. My advice to all of you is to always believe that you matter!
Hello! My name is Tico Angel and I am a senior at Van Meter High School and take courses at Central Academy. Through high school, I have been involved in many different activities. I ran both track and cross country. I also participated in Quiz and Knowledge Bowl, Model United Nations, National Honor Society, Mock Trial, Student Leadership Team, and Students Promoting Emotional Awareness and Kidpowerment(SPEAK). SPEAK is the mental health group at my school and has truly opened my eyes to mental health and the challenge it presents to young people today. SPEAK has worked both to help those who suffer from mental health, but also increase awareness and understanding. I hope to use what I learned from SPEAK and help students all across Iowa. From my experience, the stigma that surrounds mental health can have effects that are nearly as dangerous and harmful as the mental illnesses themselves. I hope that the Youth Advisory Board is able to both help those who suffer from mental illness, but also increase awareness and acceptance among those who do not.
Hi! I’m Zoey Carter! I love running, dancing, and playing lots of musical instruments. I’m so passionate about ending the stigma surrounding mental health, and I’m super excited to be on the board this year!!