Innovations for Youth (i4Y)

Innovations for Youth seeks to improve equity and wellbeing for youth locally and worldwide through catalyzing innovative interventions, practices, and policies, and by building interdisciplinary partnerships between faculty, students, adolescents, and community collaborators.

Our vision is a world in which all adolescents have access to the structures of opportunity and are free from barriers to fulfill their greatest potential.

Our approach is to build partnerships between faculty from diverse fields, students and trainees at UC Berkeley with adolescents and community collaborators. We develop, evaluate and diffuse innovative interventions, practices, and policies. This includes pursuing projects within our four initiative areas as well as in training and mentorship. Our current work includes:

Youth Voice and Participatory Research

  • Engage in community-partnered science
  • Promote Youth-led Participatory Action Research (YPAR) through the YPAR hub
  • Integrate quantitative, qualitative, and participatory approaches

Marginalized Youth & Settings

  • Study the effects of the social determinants of health on the health and wellbeing of marginalized youth
  • Collaborate with community stakeholders to pilot, evaluate and disseminate structural interventions that address youth inequities in real-world settings
  • Sponsor the Ending Youth Homelessness Catalyst Group at UC Berkeley

Reproductive Health, Sexuality and Relationships

Training/Student Opportunities

In line with campus Discovery Initiatives, i4Y emphasizes student training through our YEDI (Youth Equity Discovery Initiative) program. The YEDI program provides research mentorship and apprenticeship for undergraduate students, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds, while they are engaged in faculty-led youth equity research projects. YEDI scholars:

  • Participate in workshops to discuss critical concepts in research
  • Cultivate professional skills
  • Develop supportive and empowering peer and mentor relationships.

Faculty Directors

Colette (Coco) Auerswald 

Emily Ozer (

Valerie Shapiro (

Colette (Coco) Auerswald (Faculty Director)
Emily Ozer and Valerie Shapiro (Faculty Directors)
Staff contact
Marieka Schotland (Executive Director)
Mailing address

Innovations for Youth (i4Y)
School of Public Health, UC Berkeley
2121 Berkeley Way, Suite 6100
Berkeley, CA 94720-7360