249053 Youth Leading the Way to Healthier Communities

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Anthony Fleg , Native Health Initiative, Albuquerque, NM
Shannon Fleg, MS , Native Health Initiative, Diné Nation, Albuquerque, NM
Youth are often unrecognized as an asset and resource capable of working to improve health. Indeed, programs often target youth as an intervention, but rarely include youth in the planning and administering of such programs. The Native Health Initiative, a partnerhsip to address health inequities through loving service has created a program called Youth Leading the Way to encourage youth to create and carry out projects that they feel will improve the health and well-being of their communities. The grants that youth complete to receive funding for their projects was authored by NHI's community partners, and are meant to build tangible skills (e.g. creating a budget and timeline), connect the youth to mentors in their community, and to provide high-profile recognition for the youth once their projects are completed. Now in its sixth year, Youth Leading the Way is an example of a asset-based approach to youth empowerment, one that we feel can benefit all communities willing to allow youth to lead. In this session, after briefly describing the elements of Youth Leading the Way, we will allow two youth groups from NHI's work in NM, AZ, NC, and MN to explain their projects and to articulate their vision for creating healthier communities.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify strengths and assets that youth possess, and connecting these traits to improving the health of communities 2) Evaluate community asset mapping as a tool to identify youth and other un-tapped resources that can be identified and amplified to improve health of communities 3) Assess youth-led health projects for their ability to create healthier communities

Keywords: Youth, Community Assets

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I help administer the Youth Leading the Way project grants for NHI
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.