York Region Youth Sexual Health Empowerment Project
Melissa is reaching young people in rural and economically disadvantaged areas outside of Toronto, Canada with information on sexual and reproductive health that is free from bias or judgement. By collecting appropriate, comprehensive, and youth-friendly resources for young people in York Region and creating a platform for young people to share their stories about the barriers they face when accessing youth-friendly services, Melissa is shining a spotlight on youth voices and empowering young people to have autonomy over their sexual and reproductive health.
Through her project, Melissa will:
- Create a free e-book with a compilation of resources related to sexual and reproductive health issues, including ones on sexual assault and consent
- Produce a podcast featuring interviews with young people and service providers about youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health information and services
- Launch a website to serve as a hub for young people seeking quality sexual and reproductive health information
- Promote a photo and social media campaign to showcase young people's stories about accessing contraception
Melissa is a community development worker and youth advocate who is passionate about sexual and reproductive health and rights. She has worked in Chile, Georgia, and Indonesia on development projects focusing on youth rights and women's health initiatives. Melissa currently sits on the board of directors for the AIDS Committee of York Region and is the Canadian country coordinator for the Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network. She advocates for youth involvement in democracy and the promotion of women's rights to contraception and sexual health services.