2019 Roddenberry Fellow
Cristina Leos promotes digital health innovation by using behavioral science and technology to improve adolescent health. She is co-founder of Real Talk, a mobile app that connects teens with authentic stories and trusted resources on sensitive health topics, like sexual health and mental health. She holds degrees from Stanford University and the University of North Carolina and has spent the last seven years working on federally funded research investigating lifestyle- and technological-interventions to improve health. She is currently a doctoral student conducting award-winning research in the Department of Health Behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Cristina has secured over $1M in funding for her academic and professional projects, and her work has been generously recognized by Forbes 30 Under 30, Fast Company, NPR, Smithsonian Magazine, and the American Public Health Association.
Real Talk is a mobile app that connects teens with authentic stories and trusted resources on sensitive health topics, like sexual health and mental health. Grounded in human-centered design, Real Talk has created a safe, judgement free platform for teens to share experiences and know that they are not alone in going through common adolescent issues. Each story is paired with a high quality online resource on the subject and teens can share their own stories directly within the app. After launching the first version of the app in fall 2017, we have reached over 10,000 teens in all 50 U.S. states and 95 countries around the world. In 2019, our goals are to generate content on additional topics that are relevant to young teens, gather more robust data to quantify our impact, and validate new growth strategies to help bring Real Talk to even more teens.