Strategic Planning, but make it youth-y!

We have exciting news: here at YouthCO, we have a new Shared Leadership Plan!

A Shared Leadership Plan is a tool that organizations can use to enable all people at all levels within an organization to take part in leadership. It is also YouthCO's take on a strategic plan. Instead of leaving leadership decisions to only one or two people within an organization, a Shared Leadership Plan is built through conversations with everyone who works at YouthCO and our Board of Directors, so we can all decide together what our priorities should be. Putting our Shared Leadership Plan in writing, as we have below, gets us all on the same page about what our shared goals are and helps enable everyone in our organization, from volunteers to staff to board, to take a leadership role in activities and projects that are connected with our collective vision.

This new Shared Leadership Plan reinforces our commitment to youth living with HIV and/or Hep C, as well as our mission, values, and approaches. At the centre of this plan is YouthCO’s mission, which is what all of our work at YouthCO has in common. The second ring shows the areas where we are prioritizing focus and growth within our organization and will help us put our mission into action. The bullet points are our operational goals, the more specific outcomes we will work towards within each priority. In addition to the image below, designed by YouthCO alumni Kwiigay iiwaans, a text version of this Shared Leadership Plan is available at the bottom of the page.

YouthCO's mission, reduce the impact of HIV and Hep C stigma on youth, is in the middle of this image. It is surrounded by four overlapping programmatic goals: decolonize, support positive youth leadership, strengthen governance, and build up harm reduction. Connected to each priority are three more specific operational goals, listed at the bottom of this page.

Better yet, we’re not quite done! This spring and summer, we’ll be testing out how this Shared Leadership Plan works in action. We’ll continue to refine our operational goals, and figure out exactly how we can use this Shared Leadership Plan in our day to day work and programs. Longer-term, this Shared Leadership Plan helps us define our biggest priorities over the next five years.

Throughout the five years of this plan, YouthCO board and staff will continue to come up with new ideas as to how we can put our priorities into action. While some operational goals will stay on our plan for the next five years, we will be able to achieve some of these before the end of this plan, and we will be able to come up with new ones. We will always continue to grow, change, and adapt to serve our mission and meet the needs of youth living with HIV/HepC in BC.

Everyone in our community is encouraged to share ideas about how we can make these priorities happen in a way that reduces the impact of HIV and Hep C stigma on youth across BC. Leave your thoughts and ideas below, or email us at

Text Version of the Shared Leadership Plan

Our Shared Leadership Plan has four priorities, and three operational goals for each priority. All of this stems from YouthCO's mission, values, and approaches.

  • Decolonize our approach to health and gender
  • Support Two-Spirit, trans, and non-binary youth leadership
  • Support leadership among Indigenous youth, youth of colour, and youth who experience inequities due to colonization
Support positive youth leadership
  • Increase leadership roles for youth living with HIV and/or Hep C across all programming
  • Increase the variety of paid roles for youth living with HIV and/or Hep C
  • Engage youth living with HIV and/or Hep C in governance
Strengthen governance
  • Create multiple pathways for youth to be part of YouthCO's governance
  • Create tools for shared, transparent decision making
  • Focus on community partnerships
Build up harm reduction
  • Strengthen our culture of harm reduction
  • Provide harm reduction supplies at every YouthCO space and event
  • Deepen partnerships with harm reduction services

Graphic design by Kwiigay iwaans.

YouthCO's office is located on the unceded traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh people. Our programs take place on unceded, ancestral, and traditional territories of many Indigenous nations across what is now called BC.

YouthCO believes that all youth have the right to accessible and affirming information about our health. We also know each of us has a unique relationship to our bodies, sex, sexuality, substance use, and harm reduction. For many of us, the words other people use for our bodies and their functions are not the words we use for ourselves. Throughout our website, YouthCO uses words for bodies and sex that we know will not reflect the full diversity of our communities. We have tried to, where possible, be as expansive with our language as we know how to while being as specific as possible. As youth leading the HIV movement, we too are learning about the best words for our experiences and do not do this perfectly. We invite any feedback about the language used on our website to help us move forward in the best ways for all youth in our communities!