Tallahassee youth leaders raise money to help homeless youth

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The Youth Health Leadership (YHL) announced raising $1,000 for homeless youth as a part of a broader Collaborative Project with Capital City Youth Services (CCYS) which serves homeless youth locally.

The youth also developed a card flyer with key messages to assist homeless youth in protecting themselves from the coronavirus and in preventing spread of the disease.

The card flyer is already in use by CCYS with youth in shelters and in outreach areas. Commenting on the project and partnership with YHL, Gina Dozier, CCYS Interim Director, said “ This is such a great collaboration. Part of what I love about this is that it is youth helping other youth and it is prevention focused.”

The purpose of Youth Health Leadership, now in its eighth year, is to engage youth ages 14-18 in promoting and improving health and wellness through education and action in Tallahassee/Leon County. A record breaking 19 youth were selected for Cohort 8 this year.

“We are delighted to have such a talented cohort of youth who persevered and completed YHL during a challenging time and developed a project that met a compelling need in the community. The partnership with CCYS is a testimony to this cohort’s understanding of public health and how to address needs of vulnerable populations, remarked Penny Ralston, director and FSU professor.

With a mission of promoting the healthy development of youth and families, Capital City Youth Services provides guidance, shelter, and support to youth and families in the Big Bend area.

When youth or families have a problem, CCYS works to understand their needs and to develop a plan to assist and provide the best services possible. Through their various programs, CCYS serves young people ages 6- 21 and all services are at no cost to the youth/families. For more information.

Established by Childhood Obesity Prevention and Education (COPE), YHL includes a six-week curriculum: 1) Trainings (four content sessions: total health, eating healthy, physical activity and health justice), 2) Application Rotation (community internship) that involves shadowing a health professional or performing service learning, and 3) Collaborative Project in partnership with a community organization.

Through YHL, youth can increase knowledge about health and wellness, develop public speaking skills, and enhance leadership abilities while helping to improve the health of Tallahassee/Leon County and the surrounding area. Since inception, Youth Health Leadership has impacted 150 youth and parents in Leon County who have participated in the program.

COPE was formed in 2010, under the leadership of Florida A&M University and the Florida Family Network, Inc., in partnership with the Florida State University Center on Better Health and Life for Underserved Populations and the Greater Frenchtown Revitalization Council.

These partner organizations initiated plans for the development of a comprehensive coalition of over 80 public and private sector agencies, organizations, institutions, and individuals to address childhood overweight and obesity.

The mission of COPE is to develop and implement a plan of action to decrease childhood obesity in Tallahassee with the vision healthy children, a healthy future and healthy Tallahassee. COPE was previously funded by the Florida Blue Foundation.