The goals of Youth Radio’s Health Department are to:
• Provide culturally competent and relevant health information and education;
• Empower youth, staff and their communities to incorporate health and wellness activities in their daily lives;
• Work collaboratively with community partners to address health disparities affecting youth and their communities;
• Create viable career pathways for Youth Radio participants in the health fields;
• Efficiently utilize our media competencies to distribute health promotion messages, education, advocacy and information to influence large-scale behavior and policy changes.
We accomplish these goals through the following programs:
Community Health Education
Community health focuses on geographic regions rather than shared characteristics, such as race or gender. The goal of YR’s Community Health Education is to address the health issues affecting Oakland and the greater Bay Area, as well as building bridges among all of the community members to find common ground to address health inequities among youth. We utilize converged media as a primary tool to reach to the community.
Peer Health Education
Peer Health Education at Youth Radio utilizes a peer-to-peer knowledge transfer, embedded in a cascading mentorship model of learning which involves key community partners including high schools in Oakland and Berkeley and organizations such as the Family Violence Law Center, that address public health issues. Peer health educators are trained in behavioral change strategies and facilitation skills. They provide workshops on issues such as teen dating violence and HIV/AIDS prevention to Youth Radio participants and youth in off site schools and programs.
Healthy Food Production
Youth Radio does healthy food production in two ways: a healthy snacks program and media asset creation. Interns prepare healthy snacks and a Friday night dinner for all youth in the education program. The goal of this portion of this program is not only to provide healthy food for our participants while engaged in learning, but to integrate food and nutrition themes into the classes themselves to drive healthy individual decision making. Youth Radio Eats is a food journal produced by Youth Radio interns, who work hands-on to make healthy and delicious food, research community food related actions, and explore and produce information about food from a youth perspective. Youth Radio also works with community partners such as the HOPE Collaborative to provide advocacy, drive policy change and create lasting community changes around how the environment influences healthy lifestyles.
Social messaging focuses on health promotion messages and education created for youth, by youth. Media assets include video, text, print, radio and Web 2.0. Through generous support from the Blue Shield of California Foundation, Youth Radio is leading a statewide campaign - Boss of Me to address the issue of teen dating violence. In addition to BOM, Youth Radio receives requests from schools and community agencies to create their media messages promoting health and wellness among youth.
In order to support all Youth Radio participants in meeting their goals and achieving their full potential, we offer case management and therapy services to all youth aged 14-24. On-site case managers are available for youth during program hours to assist with issues ranging from educational advocacy to referrals to external supportive services. Currently our therapy services are limited to 10 participants per year, using a brief therapy model. We are currently working with educational institutions in the area to collaborate to increase our capacity to serve more youth in therapy.