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.
See examples from four school-based health centers in California that have implemented virtual strategies to engage youth and address the significant challenges they have faced during the COVID pandemic.
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.
This toolkit offers three tools that educators can use to gather and analyze local data to listen to students on school-related topics or problems: Analyzing Surveys with Kids, Inside-Outside Fishbowl, and Students Studying Students’ Stories.
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.