Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Motivating Youth to Take Action in Public Health: 5th Annual Youth Leadership Conference on Asian and Pacific Islander Health

Meredith Bergin, Aarti K. Rao, Ellen T. Chang, and Samuel K. S. So. Asian Liver Center at Stanford University, 300 Pasteur Drive, H3680, Stanford, CA, USA

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:
By the end of the presentation participants will be able to:
1. Identify strategies for engaging high school students in community health outreach and advocacy
2. Generate ideas for youth leadership training and education in community health
3. Assess the feasibility and sustainability of replicating the Youth Leadership Conference

High prevalence of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and liver cancer in Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Americans is one of the most serious, yet frequently neglected, racial and ethnic health disparities in the United States. The Asian Liver Center at Stanford University hosts an annual ‘Youth Leadership Conference on API Health' to inspire youths to learn and engage in community health outreach.

Stanford University.

Motivated high school students from throughout the United States.

Project Description:
The 2007 Youth Leadership Conference was a four-day event attended by 96 high school students. Students attended lectures and workshops to inspire them to learn about hepatitis B and health disparities, and participated in hands-on projects that taught them how to reach out to the different ethnic target communities from project conceptualization, budgeting, fundraising, implementation to evaluation. The conference culminated in presentations on participant-planned hepatitis B outreach events. Knowledge retention and community activism were evaluated through pre- and post-conference surveys, and will be tracked using one-month, six-month, and one-year follow-up surveys. Participants are encouraged to submit their post conference community outreach projects for consideration for Jade Ribbon scholarships that will be presented at the following year's conference.

Results/Lessons Learned:
Hepatitis B knowledge level of the participants increased significantly in the post-conference survey, and knowledge retention remained high after one month. High school students enjoyed the challenge of learning outreach and advocacy skills that enable them to translate their passion and enthusiasm into significant community impact.

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