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Meet the Youth Advisory Board

Youth Advisory Board Bios

Maygan Martinez, Board Chair

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I am a student at Salt Lake Community College working towards my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. I have worked for the Division of Youth Services for 4 years and have been the house manager of the Milestone Transitional Living Program since May of 2020. I live in West Valley City, Utah and enjoy roller skating. I am the chair of the Youth Services Advisory Board and a member of the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Council on Diversity Affairs. I am dedicated to learning and making youth voices loud and heard throughout the world.

AJ Perez, Board Co-chair

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I recently graduated from the University of Utah with my Bachelors in Social Work. I have worked for the Division of Youth Services and I have been Co-Chair of the Youth Advisory Board for about 3 years. I have dedicated my time to help advocate for those whose voices need to be heard through Youth Services and my Social Work background. I enjoy watching movies and playing iPhone games at any time. I plan to continue advocating in any way I can! 

 

NataLee Briggs, Board Secretary

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I am a student at Dixie State University currently on route for a bachelor's degree in psychology. I started working at the Division of Youth Services when I was 17 and have continued for 5 years. This has given me amazing opportunities to see different aspects of DYS. I have been working with Milestone since the summer of 2019, that is how I became the secretary for the Youth Advisory Board. I met my fellow presidency members (Maygen and AJ) of the board while working in Milestone. With the help of some Milestone members, we were able to create The Youth Advisory Board. We are dedicated to advocating for the youth and I can not wait to see what the outstanding members are capable of accomplishing.



 

Natalie Clark, Lived Experience Expert/DCFS Liaison

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I spent 6 years in and out of Utah’s foster care system between the ages of 3 and 18; and had too many placements to keep track during my teenage years. I just recently graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Utah and am taking a year break in between my master’s in social work policy and advocacy to be a full-time Social Worker working with young people in the Transition to Adult Living Program through DCFS. I have worked within many roles over the last 7 years within Division of Youth Services, Foster/proctor care agencies and nonprofit organizations serving current and former foster youth. I am a National Foster Care advocate with Foster Club, the National Foster Care Alumni Council and Utah’s Children’s Bureau Youth Ambassador. I have participated on councils for many years with the goal of educating, informing and improving state foster care systems and I am elated to be a voice for foster youth and empower the voices and expertise of young people with lived experience.

”It’s not what you’ve been through in your life that defines. It’s not what you’ve been through in your life that defines who you are, it’s how you got through it that has made you the person you are today. Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you’ve ever been, to stand up taller than you ever were.”

Juliana Sarabia-Valdez, Lived Experience Expert

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I am a student at SouthPointe Adult High School trying to get my high school diploma. I've been to Milestone for eleven months and am still a current client. My favorite things are food, reading, also gardening. My goal is to help youth voices be heard and learn other ways to assist them. 

"You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend."

― Bruce Lee

Yixiao Burke, Lived Experience Expert

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I am a student at the University of Utah working towards my bachelor's degree in Social Work. I have my associate degree in Social Work from Salt Lake Community College. I lived in the Young women's Transitional House from February of 2019 to August 2020, and now I have been living on my own for a year now. I am a member of the Youth Advisory Board for Salt Lake County. 

I live in Salt Lake City. I like to go hiking, running, and love to hang out with friends. I am excited to learn more and advocate for youth to get their voice out loud and be proud.