Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Engaging Youth in Research

Partnerships for Environmental Public Education (PEPH)

Subscribe on iTunes
Listen on Google Podcasts
young people assisting in research

Engaging Youth in Research

Aug. 19, 2021

Interviewees: James Nolan, M.P.H., and Jessica Cabrera

This podcast explores the many benefits of engaging youth in environmental health research through the lens of the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMCAOS) Youth Council. You’ll hear from James Nolan, leader of the CHAMACOS Youth Council, and Jessica Cabrera, a youth researcher. They share their experiences with youth-led research, what they have learned, and how the program prepares the next generation of environmental health leaders.

Engaging Youth in Research

Engaging youth as partners in environmental health research can motivate them to pursue careers in science, build their self-esteem and leadership skills, and generate useful knowledge for communities. Giving youth a seat at the table also benefits the research. Young people bring creativity, new ideas, and energy to research endeavors.

This podcast explores these many benefits through the lens of the CHAMCAOS Youth Council at the NIEHS-funded Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health at the University of California, Berkley. The program trains Latino youth in research design and implementation and engages them in advocacy and outreach. Working with scientists, the youth lead research projects to investigate environmental health issues that affect their families, friends, and communities.

We’ll hear from James Nolan, M.P.H., leader of the CHAMACOS Youth Council, and Jessica Cabrera, a youth researcher. They share their experiences with youth-led research, what they have learned, and how the program prepares the next generation of environmental health leaders.

Interviewees

James Nolan, M.P.H.

James Nolan, M.P.H., graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a Master of Public Health, specializing in social determinants of health disparities associated with racism, classism, gender discrimination, and geography. He focuses on engaging non-formally educated members of impacted communities in exploring how determinants of health and structural violence overlap to influence environmental justice, with an emphasis on harnessing local assets through community-based participatory research. This process helps to build awareness, expand capacity, and engage community members in co-designing more relevant and effective health interventions. He leads the CHAMACOS Youth Council and the Richmond Youth Council and coordinates community outreach projects, including trainings, presentations, workshops, website development, and multimedia including a Spanish Radio Novella series, an animated PSA mini-series, murals, and zines. He is also currently collaborating with California State University Monterey Bay on enhancing in-classroom curriculum with an environmental health focus, project-based learning, and arts-based inquiry.

Jessica Cabrera

Jessica Cabrera is a member of the CHAMACOS Youth Council. As part of her work in the Lifting Up Communities by Intervening with Research (LUCIR) study she characterized chemicals in cleaning products in the homes of Latinx women that may pose potential health risks. She conducted home visits where participants wore air monitoring backpacks that absorbed cleaning chemicals from the air. She also processed data and packaged samples for analysis. Since then, she has worked towards advocacy measures by creating infographic media materials and presentations while expressing her voice as a youth from Salinas Valley, California.

Additional Resources

Back
to Top