We know that many factors contribute to the exacerbation of cancer health disparities. These inequities observed in adulthood may have originated from behaviors occurring in early adolescence. We believe that increasing awareness of cancer prevention in youth may help reduce future disparities. Our community partners identified a need for youth-oriented cancer prevention and helped design the pilot Youth Ambassadors Reaching Out (YARO) program. YARO provided cancer prevention and health disparities education and exposure to health careers to 73 middle school students between 2012-2016. YARO included didactic sessions (health disparities, smoking prevention, physical activity, nutrition), a cancer center tour, and Photovoice project. Students were encouraged to serve as ambassadors by sharing lessons learned with others. Participants demonstrated increases in cancer prevention knowledge during the program. Evaluation data revealed that students served as ambassadors by sharing information with others about healthy behaviors, improving their own health habits, and volunteering in their communities.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.