Youth Programs

Our Civic Engagement and Advocacy programs empower young people to become advocates for themselves, their peers, and their communities. Our programs educate youth on effective strategies for enacting and advocating systemic change. We inspire youth to believe that making a difference is achievable at any age!

Behavioral Health Youth Advisory Board

The first and only Behavioral Health Youth Advisory board IN THE COUNTRY, participants advocate for collaboration between county, state, and school systems to enhance access to mental health resources and services. Through collaboration with partners, we empower youth to strategize and instigate positive change within their communities. Recognizing that youth possess invaluable lived experiences and perspectives, we aim to enhance their professional growth and equip them with the skills to craft impactful policy briefs.

Radha Chauhan

Chair, District 3

Kai Bzoskie

Vice Chair, District 2

Natanya Kharat

Secretary, District 4

Storm Burgess

District 1

Cloud Peterson

District 4

Jordan Kaitapu

District 5

Youth Advocacy Initiative

Instituted by the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission in 2023, program youths enhance their advocacy skills and mental health literacy knowledge. This statewide network of youth comes from over 30 organizations and county offices of education. PRO hosts monthly virtual training sessions that teach youths about governing bodies, advocacy tactics, and self-care. We finish the program with regional conferences where youths can practice aligning their values and develop recommendations for local leaders.

Youth Engagement Fellowships

PRO employ transitional-aged youths to spend a year immersed in Sacramento County Office of Education departments. This program provides youths an opportunity to expand their professional skill set in the workforce and utilize their lived experience when advising departments. Throughout the program, participants inform the School Board of Trustees about their observations with intent to improve department activities. In this collaboration with SCOE, PRO has found a way to ensure that the changes and improvements made in their system are youth-first.


SCOE Fellow

“I think [these types of opportunities are] important because they allow youth to see into a different world. This is a world I hadn’t been exposed to, and it gave me the ability to learn how to adapt to it and know that I belong as much as the next person. It is also really helpful for networking; it allows youth to meet people in very high places that not everyone gets the chance to meet unless they’ve already gotten to a high place themselves. One of the biggest things, it gives youth the ability to learn and get first-hand experience in many different areas and to explore their interests. All of that is something that is indispensable and that people don’t get at just any job.”


Behavioral Health Youth Advisory Board, Chair

Serving on the BHYAB has been an eye-opening journey. I've dived deep into the mental health needs of our young people. I've witnessed the power of language, advocacy, and effective community engagement through interactions with the refugee committee, the Youth Commission, and even UC Davis Medicine. Together on the board, we created a policy brief and presented it to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and the Sacramento County Office of Education, intending to focus on holistic well-being for the youth community. These experiences have helped me understand something that I had - my voice - and its potential to shape our society. Being on this board isn't just a position; it's a platform, and I'm ready to step onto it and make a difference.

80% agreed or strongly agreed “I am more civically engaged.”

77% agreed or strongly agreed “I feel confident in my leadership skills.”

92% agree they have the power to make a difference in their community

89% feel confident they can now advocate on issues that are important to them

Donate Now

Since 1981, PRO Youth & Families has been dedicated to engaging young people in opportunities that inspire hope. Together, let’s create a world where every young person has the opportunity to thrive.

Donate today and join us in building a brighter future for our youth!