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Center for Adolescent Health

Youth Leadership & Advocacy Network

Group of young people playing classical instruments

Facilitating network activities, collective actions, training, and the dissemination of information relevant to the success of Baltimore’s young people.

In 2014, the Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health decided to strengthen its capacity to support youth development and leadership by expanding its, then, Youth Advisory Committee. The Center’s goal was to create a citywide youth leadership network, designed to connect youth leaders across the city and assist them in leveraging resources to empower their voice in the decision-making processes that impact their well-being and healthy transition to adulthood.

Launched in 2014, the Youth Leadership & Advocacy Network (YLAN) began as a partnership with the Mayor’s Youth Commission, a body of youth and young adult leaders that represent the City’s 14 Council Districts, whose purpose is to inform the Mayor and City Council of the youth related concerns and needs of the City’s youth; make recommendations as representations of youth in their districts to the Mayor and City Council; and support youth related policies and activities throughout the City, especially those sponsored by the Mayor.

Other members of the initial network were youth representing well-known youth-led organizations which had long awaited an opportunity to work in collaboration with City government and established institutions such as Johns Hopkins.

Today the Youth Leadership & Advocacy Network is comprised of 45+ member organizations and individuals dedicated to collaboration and resource sharing in order to impact three defined areas of interest: Youth Opportunity, Youth Violence Prevention and Education Relevancy and Application.