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2023 ‘Be the Change’ Youth Training Program
Each year, a group of rock star young people connect with like-minded peers from around the country who are passionate leaders of change in their schools and communities. While this awesome experience has been taking place virtually since 2020, we are thrilled to announce an in-person ‘Be the Change’ Youth Training Program for 2023! The event will be taking place in Washington, D.C. June 26 – 28th.
The program schedule below outlines the workshop events taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday. You won’t want to miss any of these amazing presenters!
We can’t wait to meet you all in-person!
Learn more about the previous “Be the Change” conferences
26-28 June 2023
Washington College of Law
4300 Nebraska Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
Day 1: Monday, June 26th
06:30 pm ET
Welcome Dinner for Youth Leaders
‘Be the Change’ participants and their chaperones will kick-off our conference with an evening of fun, all while enjoying great food at a local venue.
Day 2: Tuesday, June 27th
Welcome and Opening Plenary
Welcome and Opening Plenary
Workshop A | “From Participant to Peer Leader: Training Youth to Facilitate Peer Support Groups” by Daniela Delgado, Erik Barrios, Sandra Rodriguez, and Enrique Mejia
A growing body of evidence confirms that programs for youth are more impactful when young people play authentic and leading roles in their design and delivery. This interactive workshop will showcase how, with the support of Identity’s positive youth development staff at school-based Health and Wellness Centers, Latino and other historically underserved youth in Montgomery County, MD are serving as agents of change by helping their peers manage difficult emotions related to immigration, family separation and the pandemic. Drawing on the testimonies of Youth Peer Leaders, the workshop will explore how Identity’s programs are empowering youth to build on their experiences as program participants to play a healing role for their peers and community. For example, at a series of Newcomer Youth Leadership Summits for recently arrived teens from Central America, Youth Peer Leaders are planning and facilitating group discussions about the immigration experience and challenges of settling in a new country. These Summits are providing immigrant teens the opportunity to open up about difficult topics and validate each other’s experiences. And, in response to the youth mental health crisis, Identity’s non-clinical Encuentros program is training past participants to co-facilitate evidence-based emotional support groups where they can share resources and strategies for managing difficult emotions and coping with mental health challenges.
The goal of this workshop is to introduce the audience to this promising curriculum-based model of culturally responsive, trauma-informed peer support by inviting them to experience it for themselves. The workshop will make use of the Circle Dialogue technique, a form of structured discussion in which participants are given opportunities to share their own stories and experiences and learn from those of others. After a mindfulness exercise, there will be an opening ceremony in which Identity staff members and Youth Peer Leaders introduce themselves and explain the guidelines of the Circle Dialogue format. The floor will then be turned over to the Youth Peer Leaders, who will facilitate an icebreaker session and several hands-on activities addressing key Encuentros topics such as stress, anxiety and depression; trauma and resilience; and self-care. While this workshop will be delivered in English, some presenters and participants may feel more comfortable speaking in Spanish; in these cases, English translation will be provided.
Workshop B | “Providing Support to Peer Survivors of Sexual Assault” by Jemima Safi, Audrey Gabriel and Lauren Metcalf
This workshop, led by members of our Youth Advisory Council, seeks to educate young adults on the prevalence of sexual assault and violence within their community and empower young leaders to take action in providing peer support and advocating for survivors of sexual assault. Through open discussion of the context and history of sexual assault within a school setting, as well as the stigmas surrounding sexual assault that pose barriers for survivors to accessing the care and resources that they need and deserve, this presentation aims to inform young people of this continued issue – especially in school settings. Looking to the University of Massachusetts – Amherst‘s Survivors Bill of Rights as a case study of advocacy and measures intended to empower, protect, and support survivors of sexual assault, we will learn ways to engage in advocacy against sexual assault using survivor-centric language and actions. Through this presentation, youth will be educated on the importance of acknowledging sexual assault as a prevalent issue in their communities and how to support peers who have experienced sexual assault. Youth will walk away with examples of advocacy efforts and a broadened skill set that they can continue to apply in their own advocacy. 1 out of 6 female-identifying individuals will experience sexual assaults in their lifetime, with female-identifying teens (age 16-19) being 4x times more likely to experience sexual assault than the general public. Not only are female-identifying individuals at higher risk, but trans-gender youth are also disproportionately at risk for sexual assault, with 47% of individuals experiencing sexual assault in their lifetime. Despite this, there is still a strong stigma behind reaching out for support in youth-oriented spaces. Through this presentation, Audrey, Jemima, and Lauren will work to reduce the stigma for reaching out for support and promote a space where individuals feel empowered to talk about sexual assault awareness and educate others.
Workshop C | “Pizza Protection Parties: How to Throw a Peer-led Community Sex Education Session” by Karen Torres and Cassandra Smith
The purpose of this workshop is to teach youth leaders how to plan, organize, and lead a sexuality education session for other youth in their community. This train-the-trainer workshop will be youth-led and will teach young people how to throw a RHAP-style sex ed session we call Pizza Protection Parties. All the content in the Pizza Protection Parties (PPPs) and in this workshop are developed from Advocates for Youth 3Rs curriculum, AMAZE, and El Rio’s Reproductive Health Access Project. The workshop will begin by going over the role of peer educators in sexual health and the evidence behind this practice. We will then review the characteristics of a youth leader/peer educator and how to partner with youth-serving organizations or schools to throw a PPP. The presenters will then take the participants through a mock-PPP that covers setting group agreements, Reproduction Basics, Birth Control Basics, Correct and Consistent Condom usage, STIs/STDs, and Healthy Relationships/Consent. This mock-PPP will involve interactive components including group discussions on how to make conversations less awkward with youth, role-playing how to answer tough questions/knowing when they are not qualified to answer a question, de-escalation techniques, a condom relay race, and an on-the-wall birth control basics matching game to get participants out of their seats. All of the interactive components will simultaneously allow them to experience being a PPP participant while also teaching them how to lead these discussions and games in their own communities. We will also provide an overview of where youth leaders can find evidence-based sexual health information and resources to share with peers. The workshop will close with the presenters leading a debrief exercise. This exercise will allow participants to anonymously or non-anonymously ask questions, express concerns, or ask the presenters to go over any information again. Participants will leave the workshop with a PPP toolkit including the workshop presentation, PPP presentation, PPP script, evaluation forms for their future PPPs, parental notification forms for future PPPs, email template with language to ask a school/community organization for permission to throw a PPP, flyers to promote the PPP, and the knowledge on how to talk about sexual health information to their peers!
Workshop D | Youth Attend Main Conference Sessions
- D1: “DASH”ing (Diabetes and School Health) the Way to Health Equity and Chronic Disease Care Success
- D2: CariedAway: One Solution for a Global Disease
- D3: Every Day Counts: Building School and Data-Sharing Partnerships to Support School Attendance in Your Community
- D4: Getting Candid: The Importance of Trust in Youth Substance Use Prevention
- D5: No Kid Hungry
- D6: Using Peer-to-Peer Networks to Drive Response Efforts in a K-12 Setting
Day 3: Wednesday, June 28th
Workshop E | “MAP IT” Quality Improvement Basics for Youth Led Projects” by Tifini Ray, Amina Keita, and Eliza Smith
Introduction “MAP IT” is our catch phrase for making any problem or project a process. Every process includes actionable steps to achieve a desired outcome. Just like a map guides a user from point A to point B, MAP IT is a strategy to guide our youth leaders through a seemingly complicated set of circumstances. In healthcare, we call this strategy “quality improvement” – a compilation of methods and tools used to improve systems and processes. Quality Improvement (QI) sometimes feels like a healthcare buzzword but is very useful, especially for a team of people. In fact, most people use the basics every day without realizing it, such as finding the best route to school or work or figuring out how to get the most sleep each night. Our Youth Advisory Council (YAC), comprised of 30 high school students from the largest school district in Ohio has used quality improvement methods to break down complex challenges and make meaningful changes in their school and communities. Methods YAC members from four local high schools were brought together in a group setting. Together, they were trained in QI fundamentals. They were split into design teams by school, and led through a series of activities where they learned basic QI methods (MAP IT!) while designing a specific project for their school. As a result, they have designed and implemented projects such as creating peer support groups, leading health activities such as decreasing the stigma of mental health or increasing knowledge and access of school-based resources and support services, and are creating cultures of self-advocacy amongst peers. With short steps, the YAC has made large strides across four schools. Additionally, members report feeling more confident in problem-solving complex issues and a sense of greater confidence to lead health initiatives in their schools. Workshop Description In this workshop, we will share our how our YAC uses MAP IT to carry out successful projects. We will provide basic QI strategies that help bring ideas to life and define how we measure success. Participants will gain hands on experience using QI to address real world challenges. QI is for everyone, and this session will serve methods digestible for all, including youth leaders. Learning basic QI should not be confused with boring. This workshop is full of collaborative, experiential learning. Participants will leave full of energy and enthusiasm, and equipped with tools to make change in their respective communities.
10:30 am-1:15 pm
Workshop F&G | “ ‘A Day in the Life’ Health Care Simulation” by SBHA Youth Advisory Council
This activity will educate youth and other SBHC advocates about the components of the current health service systems available to people nationwide. Through role play and interaction, youth will better understand the importance and benefits of SBHCs, as well as obtain language to advocate for peers to obtain the health services they need.
Workshop H | “The Smoke Beyond the Stalls: A Forum Theatre for Bystanders” by Marcia Zorrilla DrPH, MPH, Brenda Rodas, and Sarah Bagheri
What would you do (WWYD)? When you see your friends vaping in the school bathroom, are you an upstander or bystander? As youth of the Stanford REACH Lab Youth Action Board (YAB), we saw how the vaping epidemic was affecting our peers and we wanted to do something about it! Using a video created by the YAB, the audience will see a skit on what vaping is like in the school bathrooms, the peer pressure that can arise from it, and the reactions to it. Next, in small groups, the audience will use Forum Theatre techniques and act out the skit based on the changes they want to see. Created by Augusto Boal, Forum Theatre is a participatory form of theatre that engages the audience in examining the oppressions seen and discussing the possibilities of “rehearsing” options to change the outcome of the theatre piece. If you’re curious in “trying out” your ideas, starting a dialogue, and creating change in a fun and interactive way, please join our workshop!
Youth Program Wrap-up
Young people are an essential advocate for SBHCs nationwide, with the power to shape programs, policy, and outreach activities that affect the health of students. Join us to share your youth leadership stories, give feedback from the convention, and contribute thoughts on future networking.
'Be the Change’ Youth Training Program Scholarship Competition
The School-Based Health Alliance has a distinct training program just for youth at the National School-Based Health Care Convention, June 26-28, 2023. The ‘Be the Change’ Youth Training Program is designed to provide an opportunity for youth to connect with like-minded peers from around the country who are passionate leaders of change in their schools and communities. ‘Be the Change’ participants network with each other and school-based health care advocates at the convention and engage in various workshops pertaining to health, education, policy, and leadership.
There are a limited number of scholarships available for students. Scholarships will cover the cost of two nights’ hotel accommodations for the duration of convention (check-in is on Monday June 26, and check-out is on Wednesday, June 28). Scholarships will also cover the costs of travel to and from the conference.
- Applicants must be registered for convention prior to submitting a scholarship application.
- Applicants must be nominated by an adult involved with school-based health centers.
- Applicants must be between 14 to 18 years of age at the time of the Convention.
- Applicants must get the permission of a parent and/or guardian to apply.
- Applicants must submit their application, essay, transcript, and nominating form to School- Based Health Alliance by Friday, May 19, 2023.
- Scholarship recipients must be able to attend the full convention from June 26- 28, 2023.
- Scholarship recipients must attend all ‘Be the Change’ workshops at the Convention.
Scholarship decisions will be sent via email Friday, May 26, 2023.
If you have any questions regarding the scholarship competition, please e-mail Harper Byers at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202)-370-4390.
Visit https://www.youthhealthhub.org/be-the-change/ for more information about the ‘Be the Change’ Youth Training Program.
How to Apply
Download the scholarship application form and email all the required forms to email@example.com by Friday, May 19, 2023.
What are my responsibilities as a chaperone?
Chaperones are responsible for scheduling travel to and from the convention for the student(s) they are supervising. They are also charged with arranging room accommodations, food during non-scheduled meals, and general supervision of the student(s) during non-convention hours. Chaperones are also responsible for ensuring that their student(s) follow the rules established in their consent form.
Is there a consent form I have to sign?
Yes, all consent forms must be signed by the youth, their parent/guardian, and their chaperone. The form can be downloaded here.
Do I need to participate in ‘Be the Change’ Youth Training Program activities?
No, you are not required to participate in any youth program activities. As a registered attendee of the National School-Based Health Care Convention, you are more than welcome to participate in any of the open workshops listed in the general program. You may sit-in on any ‘Be the Change’ workshops, but please check-in with Harper Byers, ‘Be the Change’ coordinator, before you do so.
Is there a limit to the number of students I can chaperone?
No, there is no official limit to the number of students you can chaperone.
If one of the students I am chaperoning received a scholarship, how will their room be paid?
Scholarship recipients’ rooms will be provided by the School-Based Health Alliance. The chaperone is responsible for arranging room accommodations for all students they are bringing to the convention that did not receive a scholarship.
Will the youth be staying at the same hotel as the convention?
Most youth will be staying at the same hotel as the convention. As a chaperone, you are required to stay at the same hotel as your youth.
HRSA Disclaimer: This program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $625,000 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.