Local youth coalition aims to improve community health

Marquetta Anderson, Losavio, Ruthie

(Greensburg, LA) – The St. Helena Parish HYPE Youth Coalition held its first meeting December 8 to introduce the purpose of the HYPE project to local youth. The meeting was held at Greater Turner Chapel AME Church.

The Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE) Project is a youth leadership program that trains youth to become advocates for positive change. HYPE activities focus on health advocacy, youth development, youth-adult partnerships and addressing health disparities.

“The goal of the youth coalition is not only to influence those of you in attendance to live healthier, but also for youth to encourage their peers, family, and other community members to do the same,” said Marquetta Anderson, LSU AgCenter Extension Agent and St. Helena HYPE coalition facilitator.

During the meeting, Anderson gave a general overview of the Socio-Ecological Model, which illustrates how there are factors influencing healthy eating and active living at many different levels of society.

“I decided to join the youth coalition to make positive changes and take charge of my health in my community,” said Deon, St. Helena HYPE member.

“Promoting advocacy with youth is a promising strategy for obesity control,” Anderson said.“By involving youth there is potential to maximize change and impact. Not only can youth advocacy benefit society, but youth can also benefit.”

The youth coalition was established by St. Helena Parish Healthy Communities in collaboration with St. Helena Parish 4-H. The next coalition meeting will be held January 12, at 5:30 pm at Greater Turner Chapel AME Church.

If you would like to learn more or if your child would like to join the coalition, contact Marquetta Anderson at maanderson@agcenter.lsu.edu or Angela Myles Bickham at amyles@agcenter.lsu.edu or 224-222-4136.

Extension agent presenting to youth.

12/15/2020 5:55:04 PM
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