Youth Research Academy

About the Youth Research Academy (YRA)

The YRA is a group of youth aged 16 to 24 with experience of the government care system. Members of the YRA are trained to conduct research projects of interest to youth in and from government care and the agencies that serve them.

We are hiring!


We are hiring eight Research Assistants from across BC for the YRA. We are currently taking a wait list for youth living in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal regions, and have openings available for youth in the North, Interior and Vancouver Island regions. The cohort will begin on June 30th 2021, and run until March 2022. Youth must live in BC and be able to work in Canada to be eligible for this position. For more details, download the job description here. To download a poster to share the opportunity with youth, click here.

If you are a young person who would like to join the YRA, you can fill out a short application form here. If you have questions, please contact Katie at

YRA reports and infographics

Substance use and critical injuries

Young people in and from government care in BC shared their suggestions to reduce substance-related harms among young people in the province. Their suggestions helped to inform recommendations made by the BC Office of the Representative for Children and Youth.

Download the poster (11"x17") here.

Alcohol and youth

This infographic was created by the Youth Research Academy to highlight findings from recent McCreary reports on alcohol use among BC youth.

Download the infographic poster (11"x17") here.

Food and mood: A youth-led study into nutrition and mental health

Over Spring Break 2018, the Youth Research Academy hosted the second annual Research Slam. Participants analyzed data from the 2013 BC Adolescent Health Survey (BC AHS) relating to nutrition and mental health, and created their own survey to answer questions not addressed in the BC AHS. This report shares the results of that survey as well as recommendations to improve nutrition and mental health among young people.

Download the report here.

More than Grades

As part of a larger project conducted by the BC Office of the Representative for Children and Youth, McCreary and the YRA were asked to capture the perspectives of youth in and from government care with respect to the barriers and supports they experience in achieving educational success. YRA members analyzed the survey data, including open-ended questions, and identified key findings. They also took the results back to youth who participated in the survey to get their perspectives on the findings, and shared the results through presentations and workshops.

Download the report here.

Click here to download a copy of the Provincial Intermediate and Middle Years Teachers' Association Fall 2017 newsletter, which features recommendations from the project written by members of the YRA.

Download the full report from the BC Office of the Representative for Children and Youth here.

The report includes input from individuals in the school and care systems, such as teachers, social workers and foster parents. It also includes youth input gathered by McCreary and the YRA.

The report shares suggestions from project participants and identifies areas in which children and youth in care can be better supported in their educational achievement.

Click here to download a 4-page summary of the report.