About Youth 'N Action!

youth gathering

Mission Statement: Youth 'N Action exists to empower at-risk youth as advocates for their education, treatment, mental wellness, and overall health and happiness.


In 1999, under a system of care grant, Health 'N Action was founded by Stephanie Lane MSW and Charles Huffine M.D. Health 'N Action worked successfully to speak to issues of youth and health in the system of care, both locally and nationally, as well as engaging the youth it has and continues to serve.

Health 'N Action made its impact felt quickly, reaching out to youth and getting them involved in the system in significant and meaningful ways. In their frequent appearances, people responded to their stories as moving and motivational. They spoke to Olympia legislators on key issues. They spoke to small groups and statewide forums. They addressed national conferences. They "came as they are" and spoke eloquently, communicating the priorities and urgencies of youth culture.

When the grant ended, the program came to an end, but its participants remained committed to the vision of raising the visibility of youth and health issues. Eventually, they adopted the name "Youth 'N Action."

In 2005, SAFE WA ? a statewide network of family advocates ? adopted Youth 'N Action (King County) as a statewide youth program of SAFE WA. Soon after, a first statewide meeting was convened. It was attended by youth from nine Washington State counties. As a group, they decided to formally adopt the name "Youth 'N Action" for the statewide youth advocacy program.

Who Are At-risk Youth?

There are a lot of websites out there that talk about "at-risk youth", but there is no real definition that fits this term (in our opinion). We have seen people refer to inner city kids that live in poor neighborhoods as at-risk youth, but are they really more at-risk than any other? Drugs, alcohol, and youth violence are prominent in almost every area of the United States.

Here's our definition of an at risk youth (this is our opinion): We believe any child that grows up in this world is "at-risk" in some way, however, we focus more heavily on youth effected by mental health issues, violence, disability, substance abuse, homelessness, HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy, and youth involved in juvenile justice. At risk youth may identify as any gender and any race. Each "group" has a different area where they are more at-risk, but they are all youth at-risk.