At the California School-Based Health Alliance (CSHA), we believe that young people should not only have a say in the way school health happens but also work to make it happen on their school campuses. That is why we have a long history of engaging youth in various programs. Click on the links to find out more about our current projects.
Youth in Action: Now You See Me Workshop
Interested in learning how you can engage youth at your school-based health center or in your school district? Check out our resources below.
In 2007, five young people formed our Youth Board, a group of school health advocates from across California committed to the advancement of school-based health care. The Youth Board has continuously worked to provide technical assistance, advocate for school health policies and ensure that youth engagement is a priority locally, statewide, and nationally. Our Youth Board members bring experience in adolescent health, school health, and community organizing that energizes our commitment to youth voice in school health.
The California School-Based Health Alliance’s Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) Network connects students across California who are working to improve student health through change in their school environment or with school-based health services. The Y2Y Network allows students to update each other on events happening on their campuses, keep in touch with other youth leaders, and stay connected to our organization and the statewide school health movement. This conference will be coming in 2021, stay tuned for more details.
TUPE: Tobacco Use Prevention Education Program
The California School-Based Health Alliance will be curating educational materials related to the prevention and education of tobacco, vaping, and marijuana. Our Youth Board will assist with research and identifying the most effective and youth-friendly materials that will later be shared on our website. As a part of this project we also plan to partner with organizations to provide trainings on tobacco, vaping, and marijuana prevention for SBHCs.
To strengthen the role of school-based health centers (SBHCs) in addressing the need for a diverse health workforce, we created the Youth Health Worker and Learn, Meet, Practice Curricula for SBHCs to utilize in their youth development programming. The curricula includes two sections. The first, the Youth Health Worker curriculum, focuses on empowering students to advocate for the health needs of their peers through training them in public health concepts and SBHC best practices. The second, the Learn, Meet Practice curriculum, exposes students to a variety of health careers available to them through the health professionals at their school-based health center.
Some of the most robust SBHC youth engagement programs offer long-term career and academic guidance to students. The California Career Resource Network (CalCRN) program of the California Department of Education (CDE) provides free and low-cost career exploration resources to middle and high schools in California. These resources can be used by anyone throughout the state. CalCRN’s website has links to all CalCRN resources and PDFs, with entry points for students, educators, as well as job and career seekers.
This is a nonprofit, nonpartisan program whose mission is to engage youth in the democratic process by using sound youth development principles. This is accomplished by providing opportunities for middle and high school youth to participate in civic education, leadership, and service programs that directly connect to local, state, and federal issues. Follow the link to the website, The California Center for Civic Participation.
This collaborative effort of national, regional, and local grantmakers and youth organizers provides resources and tools for youth organizing organizations that draw from principles of community organizing. The Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing works to funnel funding toward youth organizing groups and support sustainable practices for such organizations. Check out their tools and resources for a comprehensive list of materials.
The Network for a Healthy California created this report, on its multi-year Youth Engagement Initiative, to share ideas, lessons learned, and reflections with those who are interested in engaging youth to improve health and well-being. It includes descriptions of the projects, advice from the field, and a wide variety of case studies.
The national School-Based Health Alliance published a web-based toolkit on youth engagement in school-based health centers. Filled with information, tips, resources, and case studies, Lead the Way: Engaging Youth in School-Based Health Care offers support to any person or organization committed to upholding youth voice in school health.
SparkAction is an online advocacy and journalism center by and for the child and youth field. The organization is a merger of Connect for Kids, Youth Policy Action Center and the National Youth Development Information Center. SparkAction promotes and produces stories, publications, data and interactive tools for all youth advocates.
UCSF Research on Incorporating Youth-Led Community Participatory Research into School Health Center Programs and Policies
Training adolescents as student researchers is a strategy that can improve the delivery of care at school-based health centers and significantly shift school health policies impacting students. From 2003 to 2006, UC San Francisco, in partnership with Youth In Focus, implemented a participatory student research project to enhance the existing evaluation of the Alameda County SBHC Coalition and its participating clinic members, and to help develop and implement school health policies.