Title

Engaging Youth Advocates through the Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE) Project

First Presenter's Institution

University of South Carolina

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Session 9 (Scarbrough 2)

Strand #1

Family & Community

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

This proposal relates to the Heart and Home strands that are connected to the conference theme. The HYPE Project Logic Model (attached), which is based on the Social-Ecological Model for Health Promotion Programs, illustrates ways the HYPE Project addresses youth engagement at the individual; interpersonal; community; and policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) levels. The HYPE Project promotes outcomes at each level of the Social-Ecological Model such as increasing skills and motivation for PSE change (individual); increasing group cohesion and relationships with adults (interpersonal), viewing youth as agents of change and resources (community); and working with youth to advocate for PSE change.

Brief Program Description

The Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE) Project is a youth leadership program that trains youth to be advocates for change. Although HYPE activities focus on policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change that address obesity prevention, youth are encouraged to use the skills they learn to be lifelong advocates. Topics include positive youth development, advocacy, youth voice, youth-adult partnerships, PSE change, and health disparities.

Summary

In 2012, the HYPE Project was developed by Eat Smart Move More South Carolina (ESMMSC) in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and the University Of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health. Initial funding was provided through a Community Transformation Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The HYPE Project is designed to enhance the capacity of adolescents (12-17 years) to plan, implement, and advocate for community PSE change centered around healthy eating and active living. The HYPE Project includes five phases – Think, Learn, Act, Share, and Evaluate – and the HYPE logic model emphasizes strategies and outcomes at the individual, interpersonal, and community level to promote knowledge, skills, and voice among youth to create PSE change. The HYPE Project curriculum is based on several key theoretical foundations including a social-ecological framework, the MATCH model of health promotion, and a combination of positive youth development and youth empowerment strategies. The HYPE Project has been evaluated by a national curriculum developer to ensure it is developmentally and culturally appropriate, and each of the HYPE lessons has been aligned to the CDC’s National Health Education Standards. In 2014, the HYPE Project received recognition at the national level as the winner of the 24th Annual American Public Health Association’s PHEHP Public Health Materials contest.

This presentation will make the case for engaging youth, especially youth of color, as agents for change. The presentation will also demonstrate how the HYPE Project model has been effective at engaging youth advocates.

Evidence

ESMMSC has partnered with the University of South Carolina’s Core for Applied Research and Evaluation (CARE) Team to create an evaluation logic model for the HYPE Project. The evaluation logic model is a visual guide that maps out program inputs and outcomes and maps out all of the associated evaluation activities.

Thus far, several components of the HYPE Project Evaluation Logic Model have been implemented. The first program component that we’ve evaluated, and continue to evaluate, is the youth leadership training through surveys. In general, the surveys assess youth’s current health behavior, their experience with advocacy, feelings of empowerment, readiness to start the next phase of the HYPE curriculum, and their opinions about the training. We got a lot of information through these surveys but some of the key findings were that youth most enjoyed the training activities that let them be physically active. They reported feeling ready to work towards a healthier community as a result of the training, and they also reported that they had gained skills, knowledge, and confidence.

Through Ripple Effect Mapping as part of a larger evaluation project, we’ve found that HYPE projects lead to additional funding and additional efforts in the community, which really speaks to the impact that the empowered youth and a small community grant can have.

In addition, interns have evaluated other components of the HYPE Project through document review, interviews, and focus groups to assess components of HYPE such as the qualities of a successful adult advisor and lasting impacts for HYPE alumni.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Trimease Carter is the Youth Engagement Manager at Eat Smart Move More South Carolina (ESMMSC). She has over ten years of social work experience related to program development, grant management, positive youth development, advocacy, and facilitation. Prior to joining ESMMSC, Trimease was the Community Education Assistant at Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands and the Project Coordinator for the Building Dreams Mentoring Program.

She has been in her current role since 2012. Since starting at ESMMSC, she has reached over 700 teens in South Carolina through the Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE) Project, which is a program that trains youth in leadership and advocacy. More recently, she led the development of a partnership with the 7th District African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, in which $10,000.00 was awarded to work with youth groups at AME churches across the state. Trimease is a member of the Race Equity and Inclusion Learning Collaborative, National Association of Social Workers, Shamrock Rocks Mentoring Program, and Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness.

Trimease earned a bachelor’s degree from Claflin University and a Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of South Carolina.

Trimease enjoys bargain shopping, short road trips, Mexican food, event planning, and spending time with friends and family.

Keyword Descriptors

positive youth development, advocacy, youth voice, youth-adult partnerships, PSE change, health disparities, obesity, minority

Presentation Year

March 2020

Start Date

3-11-2020 11:15 AM

End Date

3-11-2020 12:30 PM

Logic Model Final.pptx (79 kB)
HYPE Logic Model

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Mar 11th, 11:15 AM Mar 11th, 12:30 PM

Engaging Youth Advocates through the Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE) Project

Session 9 (Scarbrough 2)

The Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE) Project is a youth leadership program that trains youth to be advocates for change. Although HYPE activities focus on policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change that address obesity prevention, youth are encouraged to use the skills they learn to be lifelong advocates. Topics include positive youth development, advocacy, youth voice, youth-adult partnerships, PSE change, and health disparities.