224944 Creating a Countywide Youth-led Website and Youth Blog on Healthy Eating and Active Living

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Naida Pare, BA , Health Policy and Planning, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Jennifer Gross, MPH , Health Policy and Planning, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Doris Y. Estremera, MPH , Health Policy & Planning Department, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Scott Morrow, MD, MPH, MBA , Health Officer, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Nancy Brink, MA , Youth Media Director, EPA.net, Menlo Park, CA
Background- The Get Healthy San Mateo County Task Force (Task Force) is a countywide collaborative responsible for increasing access to healthy food and physical activity. For the Task Force, engaging authentic youth voice and youth-led processes is an integral part of the effort. In collaboration with the Task Force, a local youth enterprise (EPA.net) developed the content and design for www.yspacesmc.org, a website where youth can obtain and share information about healthy eating and active living, and learn how to make their communities healthier places to live. The website includes a youth blog, a videos section, and top stories about local youth who are improving their nutrition and physical activity environment. EPA.net staff consist of underserved youth ages 14-24. Method- Youth throughout the county were interviewed to get feedback on what youth would like to see in a website. Along with this feedback, Task Force members, EPA.net, and a web developer met for six months to create the website. A youth focus group was then conducted to ensure the website is appealing and user-friendly to youth. With training from professional web developers, EPA.net continues to provide ongoing content management support for the website. County and adult staff from EPA.net provide mentoring, training and support to youth to enhance and develop their writing and professional skills. Results- Accomplishments include: 1) launched an interactive youth-run website and blog, 2) provided a venue for youth to develop leadership and professional skills, and 3) EPA.net convened a youth leadership team to oversee the website.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: 1. Discuss the process and challenges to creating a successful youth-run website and blog. 2. Identify strategies an organization can adopt to incorporate youth voice and leadership, and to foster working partnerships between youth and adults. 3. Discuss approaches and lessons learned when working with youth who face many challenges in their environment that can interfere with their personal and professional success.

Keywords: Youth, Internet Tools

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I coordinate, implement, and evaluate programs related to healthy eating and active living and youth engagement. I am the communications coordinator for our countywide collaborative that is responsible for increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables and physical activity.
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.