Environmental Justice Youth Training Program: Increasing community capacity through a high school extracurricular module
Methods: Through a university-community-based organization partnership, a 12-week extracurricular program was designed and implemented in two predominantly Asian-American communities of southern California. Student participants (n=24) learned basics of environmental justice through a classroom curriculum, researched environmental burden by collecting air pollution data using low-cost air quality monitors, and created community dissemination materials used to engage other community members and decision-makers around the environmental concerns found.
Results: Pre- and post-program questionnaires are used to measure individual self-efficacy of participants by assessing students’ knowledge of environmental justice issues, confidence in ability to act, and likelihood to engage community members and decision-makers. Tests for repeated measures (paired t-test, Wilcoxon signed-rank test) are used to evaluate changes in these items. Semi-structured interviews with community partner coordinators assess the adequacy of curriculum content and barriers to implement specific topics.
Conclusions: The model of using low-cost air quality sensors is valuable for the specific target audience because it utilizes experiential learning with technology that has historically been unavailable at the high school level in lower socioeconomic and minority communities. The EJYTP module may remain a sustainable model of youth engagement within high schools over periods of years.
Learning Areas:Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Describe an extracurricular program for high school students that increase the capacity of minority communities in southern to participate in decision-making processes.
Keyword(s): Environmental Justice, Air Pollution & Respiratory Health
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present this work because as the key developer of the curriculum content. I have been teaching air pollution and environmental health topics for the past 5 years.
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.