Right People. Right Information. Right Time.

Executive Summary

What is it really like to be a young person in America?​

“Experts” often speak on behalf of youth. Policymakers. Educators. Doctors. Community leaders. The media. But do these experts really know the views of young people?

The MyVoice team believes that youth are the best experts of their own experiences.

Every week, MyVoice connects with young people through real-time text message polling. We reach young people where they are mostly likely to respond – their phones – and where they have the ability and the privacy to quickly provide honest and insightful responses.

Directly engaging youth, aged 14-24, allows us to highlight their lives in their own words and to share what we learn with people who need to better understand what youth need, think, and experience.

The data are quickly and expertly analyzed, then shared with the policymakers, public agencies and community groups making decisions that directly affect the lives of young people.

MyVoice is elevating the voices and experiences of young people to inform policies and programs that improve their lives.

Overview of the Participants​

The Numbers

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Text Messages Sent

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Unique Zipcodes

Geographic Representation of Participants​

Where You At?

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Free or Reduced Lunch


Quotes From MyVoicers

What motivates them to answer our questions each week​

“It’s kind of an endorphins thing? Like i see the messages and I suddenly realize it’s Friday! And I get super excited”

“I do it for the gift card so I can get Christmas presents”

“I think this is super easy way to share my opinions. I’m a bit too shy to go to political rallies or protests, but this way I feel more important.”

“After I saw that article about people’s responses being used to make actual change, I showed me that giving my opinion every week actually can have an impact”

“It’s motivating knowing I can answer a simple text message and help others as I do so”

“it’s easy, gets me thinking, and i feel like i’m contributing towards something”

“I love being a part of research that could actually change policy! It’s also nice to have my voice heard without any judgement and a sense of anonymity. The dollar a week also helps :)”

“I am young so I wanted a way to make some money without TOO much work”

“It comes to my inbox and it’s usually about issues that I do have a personal stake or opinion in! I think it’s important to contribute to open dialogue.”

About Us

Who Are We​

MyVoice was created out of our passion for elevating youth voice to inform policies and practices that affect their lives and wellbeing. MyVoice is driven by the collaborative efforts of our team of physicians, health researchers, social scientists, computer scientists, designers, and students.

families and youth at the Macarthur boulevard community fun day

High School Students

Sasha Akuezue
Chloe Harper

Postdocs & Fellows

N’dea Moore-Petinak

Undergraduate Students

Fumiya Abe-Nornes
Omar Ilyas
Ivana Khreizat
Georgia Wood

Graduate Students

Katherine Jones

Medical Students

Arrice Bryant
Kathryn Holt
Kate Kollars
Sam Schuiteman
Arianna Strome
Tara Sulur
Aisling Zhao

Faculty & Staff

Tammy Chang, MD, MPH, MS
Kiren Chaudhry
Matthew Davis, MD MAPP
Melissa Dejonckheere, PhD
Timothy Guetterman, PhD
Cornelius Jamison, MD MSPH
Sunghee Lee, PhD
Okeoma Mmeje, MD MPH
Michelle Moniz, MD, MSc
Noa Kim, MSI
Cathy Park, BSI
Missy Plegue, MS
Kelsey Rose
Sarita Schoenebeck, PhD
Rick Schulte
Ellen Selkie, MD, MPH
Kendrin Sonneville, ScD, RD
V.G. Vinod Vydiswaran, PhD
Marika Waselewski, MPH

Youth Voice in Academic Publications and Popular Press

Cite This​

Published Papers

Crissman HP, Czuhajewski C, Moniz MH, Plegue MA, Chang T. Youth perspectives regarding the regulating of bathroom use by transgender individuals. J Homosex. 2019;1-16. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2019.1618646
DeJonckheere M, Fisher A, Chang T. How has the presidential election affected young Americans? Child Adol Psychiatry Ment Health. 2018;12:8. PMCID: PMC5809872
DeJonckheere M, Nichols L, Moniz M, Sonneville K, Vydiswaran VG, Zhao X, Guetterman TC, Chang TMyVoice national text message survey of youth 14-24yo: Study Protocol. JMIR Res Prot. 2017;6(12):e247. PMCID: PMC5742661
Guetterman TC, Chang T, DeJonckheere, M, Basu T, Scruggs E, Vydiswaran VGV. Augmenting qualitative text analysis with natural language processing. J Med Internet Res. 2018;20(6):e231.
Mackey CN, Plegue MA, Deames ME, Kittle MC, Sonneville K, Chang T. Family physicians’ knowledge and beliefs regarding the health effects of added sugar. SAGE Open Med. 2018 Sep 19;6:2050312118801245. PMCID: PMC6146324
Sonneville KR, Mulpuri L, Khreizat I, Nichols LP, Plegue MA, Chang T. Youth Preferences for Weight-Related Conversations. Health Commun. 2019 Jul 10:1-6. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2019.1631566.
Van Sparrentak, M, Chang T, Miller AL, Nichols LP, Sonneville KR. Youth opinions about guns and gun control in the United States. JAMA Pediat. 2018;172(9):884-886.
Zucker NA, Schmitt C, DeJonckheere MJ, Nichols LP, Plegue MA, Chang T. Confidentiality in the doctor-patient relationship: Perspectives of youth ages 14-24 years. J Pediatr. 2019; pii: S0022-3476(19)30673-0.


Elevating Youth Voice to Inform Critical Issues in a Sexual and Reproductive Health

Detroit, MI

MyVoice: Texting with America’s Youth to Improve Health and Wellbeing

Chicago, IL

Dealing with Large Qualitative Datasets and Rapidly Disseminating Results

Ann Arbor, MI

MyVoice: Texting with America’s Youth to Improve Health and Wellbeing

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah

Adolescent Views on Prescription and Nonprescription Opioid Use: Findings from a Longitudinal Mixed Methods Study

STFM, Washington D.C.

Barriers to Adequate Sleep Among Youth: A Mixed-Methods Text Message Survey

STFM, Washington D.C.

Christine Schmidt at STFM 2018

Sports Participation to Improve Health: A National Survey of Youth Age 14-24

STFM, Washington D.C.

Engaging Youth in a Longitudinal Text Message Survey: Implications for Research and Practice

Denver, CO

Use of Text Messaging Surveys to Elicit Youth Voice about Health Benefits: Findings from the MyVoice Longitudinal Mixed Methods Study

MMIRA, Vienna, Austria

Integrating Natural Language Processing with Qualitative Text Analysis in Mixed Methods Studies with a Large Qualitative Strand

University of Vienna, Austria

The Social Media CAGE: A Rapid Assessment of Problematic Social Media Use Among Youth

NAPCRG, Chicago, IL

Youths’ Perceptions of Nutritional Information on Menus: A National Mixed-Method Survey


Youth Perspectives on Sexual Assault and Consent in the United States: A Mixed Methods Approach

APHA, Philadelphia, PA

Elevating Youth Voice to Inform Critical Issues among Youth

APHA, Philadelphia, PA

Helpful or Harmful? A Qualitative Analysis of Perceptions of Body Positivity on Social Media among Young Adults

London, Ontario

Promoting Health Without Harming: Using Weight Inclusive Nutrition to Prevent Eating Disorders and Reduce Weight Stigma

Boston, MA

Rethinking Weight in Public Health

Ann Arbor, MI

Adolescent Perspectives on Health Care Transitions

Washington D.C.

"Mental Health Problems Are Affecting So Many of Us": Youth Perspective of Behavioral Health Benefits

Washington D.C.

Attitude Around Sexting Among Youth: A National Text Message Survey

Washington D.C.

Key Club International

Chicago, IL

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