264910 Massachusetts Peer Leadership Network: A Collaborative Model of Engaging Multiple Peer Leadership Programs around the State

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 1:10 PM - 1:30 PM

Daisy Ortega, M Ed , Training and Capacity Building Department, Health Resources in Action, Boston, MA
Laurie Jo Wallace, MA , Training and Capacity Building, Health Resources in Action, Boston, MA
The Peer Leadership Network (PLN), funded by Health Resources in Action and managed by a Youth Leadership Board, convenes 100 youth peer leaders, and their adult advisors, in Massachusetts who work in programs focused on different public health topics (e.g. obesity prevention). The PLN was created as an innovative way of connecting peer leaders to share best practices, learn what other programs are doing and be trained on a public health topic. With youth at the forefront, the PLN hosted statewide gatherings and conference and developed an online peer leadership directory. In 2010, various peer leadership groups across the state requested further networking opportunities to facilitate and encourage long lasting connections for their youth to continue public health work in their communities. In 2012, the PLN evolved from a once-a-year peer leadership conference to a program that offered five smaller networking events, one culminating statewide peer leadership conference and the first statewide peer leadership directory. The goals of PLN are to: 1) maximize the potential of youth to develop skills and create positive change in their communities; 2) build alliances and networks among peer leaders throughout the state so they can support one another and share best practices; 3) expose youth to peer leader programs to increase opportunities for growth and leadership and grow their social capital 4) and facilitate networking opportunities by developing an online peer leadership directory. This session will provide lessons learned on how to effectively and creatively engage youth peer leaders in public health efforts statewide.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
•Identify effective strategies of engaging various youth peer leadership groups in networking opportunities to facilitate cross program collaboration on their public health efforts (e.g. violence prevention program partnering with college access program) •Explain the components of a successful peer leadership networking program that builds a statewide community of youth leaders

Keywords: Youth, Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been training adults who work with youth, and youth themselves for the past 6 years in public health peer leadership topics as well as other training topics. Additionally, I have been the manager of the Peer Leadership Network project since its inception in 2010 and have utilized greatly community input and best practices to inform the direction of this project.
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.