216056 Creating a Statewide Culture of Positive Youth Development and Bringing the Principles into School Climate & Health Programs

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Anne-Marie Braga, LCSW , CASH Unit, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Denver, CO
Annsley Brophy , Colorado Youth Advisory Council, Denver, CO
Jessica Mullin , Colorado 4-H Youth Senate, Ft. Collins, CO
Amy Engelman, PhD , Center for Systems Integration, Denver, CO
Jon Gallegos, MPA , CASH Unit, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Denver, CO
Positive youth development (PYD) is an evidence-based, community-based, public health approach that shifts the way adults view and work with young people (Birkhead, et al, 2006). PYD in Colorado is defined by the use of seven principles: strengths-based, youth engagement, youth-adult partnerships, cultural responsiveness, inclusive of all youth, collaboration and sustainability (Engelman & Braga, 2010). When implemented with integrity and in environments that impact young people, particularly schools, PYD is viewed as a promising strategy for social justice (Fletcher, 2008).

The Colorado Youth Development Team (CYDT), a public/private partnership of youth (ages 10-25) and adults (representing state and local agencies, schools and community organizations), aims to create communities throughout Colorado that are supportive of all youth in reaching their full potential and engage them as resources in building these communities. CYDT has conducted a needs and strengths assessment of PYD policies and practices in Colorado to develop its action plan.

One of CYDT's objectives is to develop the capacity and infrastructure for youth to be engaged in the decision-making processes that affect them. CYDT is working with two statewide school-based programs (Coordinated School Health and Positive Behavior Support) to develop partnerships with PYD organizations to leverage their youth and adult expertise in creating successful infrastructure for youth to be engaged in school health/climate teams. This presentation will share the history of creating a PYD climate in Colorado as well as the successes and lessons learned from piloting partnerships between school wellness and climate teams with PYD organizations and leaders.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Participants will leave being able to: 1) Discuss how to build a culture for positive youth development in their state 2) Explain the value of engaging youth in decision-making processes to promote social justice. 3) Design a plan to begin or enhance youth involvement in their school-based initiatives.

Keywords: School Health, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the Director of Adolescent & School Health for Colorado's Dept of Public Health & Environment
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.