156991 Project ASK: A model approach to re-engaging disconnected young adults

Sunday, November 4, 2007

DYuanna L. Allen, MPH , Metro Public Health Department, Nashville, TN
Brooke Ivey , Martin Luther King Academic High School, Nashville, TN
The inaugural Youth Advisory Board (YAB)/Project ASK was initiated by executive order of the Director of Health in March 1998 at the Nashville/Davidson County Metro Public Health Department to serve as the following: An opportunity to empower young public health advocates to develop local and state adolescent health and community research projects and policies that promote sustained health outcomes. Since its inception, Project ASK (PA) meets bi-weekly to learn the foundation of evidenced-based public health research related to adolescent health issues and apply epidemiologic principles to include research design, analysis, interpretation, and data reporting as well as intervention design and implementation. In 2007, Project Ask focused research efforts on the challenges of disconnected young adults.

Approximately 50% of the 65,000 Nashville, TN young adults, ages 16 - 24 are currently disengaged from school and work. Additionally, 46% lack the minimum high school education or equivalent education, knowledge and skill sets needed to secure employment. These disconnected youth are often unidentified and therefore, underserved by the local public health system. To address this issue, Project ASK conducted a Meta analysis of local social services, non-profit agencies, and private organizations to access the level of services provided to the aforementioned population and to what degree these services are successful in re-connecting young adults to educational resources and the workforce. While the author recognizes that substantial research exists on disconnected youth, this approach is unique because the researchers are high school students connecting with their peers, thus more strongly impacting the outcomes.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, the participant will be able to: 1. Identify strategies for asset-based youth engagement in regard to research on disconnected young adults in metropolitan areas with a population less than 500,000 people. 2. List the steps needed to create sustainable youth engagement opportunities to affect health care status for disconnected young adults.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.