OUR STORY

Engaging youth as partners and leaders in research 

The Youth Wellness Lab (YWL) is a research collaborative that brings together academic researchers, community-based partners, and youth advisors with a shared goal of improving services and outcomes across multiple intersecting domains by, with, and for youth. Written by our Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), the YWL’s mission is to create a safe space for sustainable empowerment and expression through research and collaborative conversations for youth, by youth. By providing opportunities to engage in dialogue, we focus on issues that youth experience and uplift ideas about their wellness. 

The Youth Wellness Lab was formed in early 2020 and is housed at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (FIFSW) at the University of Toronto (UofT). Co-directed by FIFSW assistant professors Dr. Stephanie Begun and Dr. Bryn King, the YWL aspires to create knowledge that speaks to the intersectional identities of young people ages 29 and younger and engages youth as authentic partners and leaders in designing, developing, and translating research that impacts service delivery to improve youth outcomes. 

We are a collaborative of academics who are deeply passionate about engaging youth as partners and leaders in research that is relevant to them. We believe that instead of being researched, youth should be driving the research so that the systems, intervention models and services that relate to them are relevant and appropriate. 

As such, our work connects youth with service providers, advocates, and other community stakeholders who are passionate about partnering on youth-led, youth-centred, and youth-focused research.  

Youth are the focus because they are the future. 

To learn more about the YWL and what we do, you can meet the team, learn more about our Youth Advisory Council (YAC), check out the projects we are working on and explore the resources in our digital library.