(04/25/22) LAKE PROVIDENCE, La. — The National 4-H Council and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have awarded a two-year, $25,000 Well Connected Communities grant to LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities and 4-H programs in East Carroll Parish.
The grant will be used to send East Carroll Parish Healthy Young People Empowerment, or HYPE, youth coalition members and 4-H junior leaders to the National Youth Summit on Healthy Living and the True Leaders in Equity Institute in Washington, D.C., for the next two years.
“As a member of the East Carroll HYPE coalition, I’ve learned how to make positive changes in my community by becoming a youth advocate,” said Charlida Porter, president of the HYPE coalition.
Youth who attend the healthy living summit will learn about community service and career preparation, attend educational workshops and take field trips around Washington, D.C.
Teens who attend the True Leaders in Equity Institute will gain a deeper understanding of equity and inclusion while developing actionable skills and plans for improving their own communities.
The funds also will be used to purchase playground equipment for the parish, a goal set by the East Carroll Parish HYPE coalition. Any remaining funds will go toward furthering HYPE initiatives and goals.
“Although East Carroll is among the poorest parishes in the state, the children here constantly prove that despite the statistics, there are so many great things that are capable of existing in this community,” said Jocinda Jones, LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities agent and facilitator. “Their voices will not only help push the community forward but will also influence future generations to continue being advocates for their community.”
The East Carroll Parish Healthy Communities and 4-H partnership is part of the LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities initiative, which uses a community-driven approach to make Louisiana towns healthier places to live, work, learn and play.
East Carroll Parish HYPE and 4-H members pose for a photo during a Play Street event in Lake Providence in October 2021. Photo by D. Jones Visuals
LSU AgCenter extension agent Jocinda Jones and East Carroll Parish HYPE members install a crosswalk demonstration between a park and a school in Lake Providence. Photo provided by Jocinda Jones/LSU AgCenter
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture