Teen Advisory Council
At the International FPIES Association (I-FPIES), we recognize the need for older children living with FPIES to share their voice and their experiences and to raise awareness of their population. The I-FPIES Teen Advisory Council (TAC) was created to connect teens ages 11-19 interested in raising awareness and advancing the advocacy of FPIES. The Council is an ambassador program aimed at establishing a global connection to highlight and develop solutions for the FPIES community.
TAC gives teens living with FPIES and older siblings of FPIES patients a platform to:
o Develop educational and supportive materials
o Offer mentorship to younger children and siblings impacted by FPIES
o Stimulate and promote policy and legislative reform
o Speak and share their stories on our social media platforms, YouTube channel and annual FPIES conferences
In addition to advocacy projects, TAC ambassadors hold monthly conference calls to develop creative recommendations that voice the needs of teenagers worldwide. They may also provide outreach services at their local hospitals, distribute materials to healthcare providers, participate and speak at local FPIES fundraisers, and offer words of wisdom and encouragement to other patients and families living with FPIES. This innovative experience aims to empower this under-recognized population and bring to light the challenges and triumphs faced.
TAC also provides peer-to-peer mentorship. Ambassadors have the opportunity to connect with newly diagnosed families to encourage and support creativity in the day-to-day management of FPIES. They can provide positive, insightful support based on their experiences, share helpful suggestions about allergy-friendly products and restaurants, and offer ways to navigate school and social settings. Teens also help connect families enrolled in the I-FPIES Pen Pal Program.
Internship Opportunities for Older Members
The Teen Advisory Council also serves as a focus group to the foundation to stimulate new ideas and to maintain an open, empathetic environment. Teens are encouraged to express their interest in legislation and work cohesively with I-FPIES partner organizations. In addition, ambassadors contribute guest posts to the I-FPIES blog. They can even use this experience for college applications, community service requirements, and advancement of their studies.
Older ambassadors are also given the opportunity to learn about non-profit development through our Executive Board mentorship. This educational experience was created to stimulate great thinkers and innovative leaders in the field of non-IgE mediated food allergy. For those entering college, the program offers an internship experience for college submissions.
Interested in becoming a TAC ambassador? Here's a rundown what it entails:
- Each TAC ambassador commits to a one-year, renewable term.
- Applicants must be a patient or sibling impacted by FPIES, age 11 to 19.
- Monthly projects may be assigned. Ambassadors may be asked to participate in I-FPIES board meetings, help develop tools and resources for the organization, and even have the opportunity to create programs. Tasks are assigned based on age-appropriateness and level of time commitment.
2014-2015 Teen Advisory Council