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Communities for Youth Empowerment Team.

Meet the dedicated folks working behind the scenes to support each region implementing a Communities for Youth Initiative!

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Meredith Spivak

Project Manager

Meredith is currently a PhD student in the School of Public and Population Health at Boise State University. She earned her MS in Epidemiology from the University at Albany in 2018 and joined the Communities for Youth team in 2022. She is passionate about women and children's health and creating the best possible environments for children to thrive. 


Taylor Neher

Research & Evaluation Director

Dr. Taylor Neher is an assistant professor at the School of Public and Population Health at Boise State University. She is trained in community public health practice, education, and leadership. She completed her Bachelors in Health Sciences from Boise State University, Masters of Public Health from Texas A&M University and DrPH in Public Health Leadership and Communication from the University of Arkansas.

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Andrea Hill

Community Engagement Coordinator

Andrea (MPH, RDN, LD) is passionate about prevention! With professional experience in community nutrition education, community engagement, and community assessments she believes that meaningful connections play a vital role in reducing barriers that impact living happy and healthy lives. It’s her professional mission to engage, educate, and empower individuals, families, and communities so that life can be well lived. In addition to her professional experience, Andrea draws upon her role as a parent of four in her efforts to help Idaho communities realize their strengths and capacity to make a difference for Idaho’s young people. 


Megan Smith


Dr. Megan L. Smith is an Associate Professor for the School of Public & Population Health at BSU. Megan spent 6 years as a K-12 classroom teacher before pursuing her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies. Dr. Smith’s work builds across education, human development, and public health to promote positive health outcomes for youth. As founding director of Communities for Youth, Dr. Smith focuses on upstream prevention through community engaged efforts to promote youth and community health.


Matt Isbell

Deputy Director

Working with various organizations and across the private, nonprofit, and government sectors, Dr. Isbell consults on a range of topics all around how to make organizational processes work for their members. Whether it's how to make better decisions, collectively lead, implement ideas, or change, Dr. Isbell focuses on the communication processes that stall or stagnate organizational innovation.

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Anne Abbott

Communications Director

Dr. Anne Abbott’s research focuses on the intersection of health communication and improving youth/young adult health outcomes. She is particularly interested in mass communication interventions or intervention components that can prevent violence and self-harm; however, she applies her health communication expertise to a wide-range of topic areas.


Jaime Hernandez

Graphic Artist 

Jaime is a skilled Senior Graphic Designer with over 20 years of experience in communications. As a visual storyteller, she's worked with a wide spectrum of clients to bring their stories to life - from non-profits, marketing, and health organizations to grocery, sports, and technology. She's proud to design impactful communication pieces for Communities for Youth that will spark conversations and spread awareness about the importance of youth mental health in our communities.

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Heather Terrall

Graduate Assistant

Heather Terrall (MPH) is a graduate student at Boise State University in the Public Health Leadership PhD program. She received her masters in public health degree from Boise State University in 2024.  She is dedicated to using data and community engagement skills to create better communities for teens in Idaho. 


Libbie Luevanos Ovalle

Southwest Communities for Youth Liaison

Libbie is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Health at Boise State University. She is deeply committed to bringing health to communities in Idaho and has a special interest in promoting health for Spanish-speaking communities.

Community Initiative Leads

Leading the Community Action!

For each Communities for Youth regional initiative, there are leaders embedded in their community and ensuring action occurs to serve the community identified goals. 

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Sarah Seppa


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Tara Woodward


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BOISE & Treasure Valley

Angie Gribble


Community Engagement Affiliates

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

We pride ourselves on ensuring that we have representation from across the state because its important to have lots of perspectives. Meet our core group of folks keeping us connected across the state.

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Maja Ledgerwood

Northwest Nazarene



Jen Wallin-Ruschman

College of Idaho

Dr. Jen Wallin-Ruschman is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the College of Idaho and Hansberger Chair of Community Collaboration and Engagement. Jen is a Community Psychologist interested in participatory and qualitative research methodologies to foster community wellness and social change. Recently her work has centered on understanding and enhancing youth mental health in Caldwell.  


Doug Rapley

College of Western Idaho


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