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Greetings COPE Coalition Members!
On behalf of the Childhood Obesity Prevention Education (COPE) Project, under the leadership of Dr. Cynthia M. Harris (FAMU), Ms. Sokoya Finch (Florida Family Network, Inc.) and Ms. Miaisha Mitchell (Greater Frenchtown Revitalization Council), we are pleased to announce that we are now recruiting youth applicants for Cohort V of Youth Health Leadership (YHL). YHL is a signature program of the COPE Project, previously funded by the Florida Blue Foundation. The purpose of YHL is to engage youth in promoting and improving health and wellness through education and action in Tallahassee/Leon County. Attached you will find the application materials for YHL Cohort V. These materials provide all of the necessary information to apply. This year, up to 15 youth will be selected through a competitive process. We are targeting high school youth (generally 14-18 years of age). The final deadline for applications is 5:00 pm, Friday, January 20, 2017. No applications will be received after this time.
As new features this year, we are identifying lead sponsors for YHL that will have the opportunity to provide in-kind or cash support, serve as co-host of a YHL session, receive recognition, and have an opportunity to partner on grant or other funding for YHL. For more information about serving as a lead sponsor, please contact Dr. Penny Ralston at pralston@fsu.eduor (850) 645-8110. Also, we are requesting that the families of youth selected for YHL provide a modest fee of $25 to help defray expenses for facilities, refreshments and materials. Scholarships will be provided for families who needing assistance with the fee.

What are the benefits of a youth being involved in Youth Health Leadership?

  • KNOWLEGE: Youth learn the science behind why we need to eat better, participate in physical activity, and take care of our bodies and minds in general.
  • ROLE MODELS: YHL members hear presentations from dynamic role models including credentialed young professionals who are business owners and in allied health, dentistry, dietetics, medicine, nursing, public health and pharmacy, among others.
  • EMPOWERED TO LEAD: Youth participate in sessions where they are the leaders and make the decisions about what the organization will do. Parents and organizational advisors provided guidance.
  • SERVICE LEARNING: YHL members have an opportunity for hands on community service with key health leaders in Tallahassee/Leon County.
  • PLANNING SKILLS: YHL members conceive and implement health campaigns. Examples include establishing the YHL Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Youth-Health-Leadership/412952635467849),developing a partnership with CHAMPIONS which provides fitness activities for elementary and middle school students, promoting physical activity through development of a unique flyer, identifying mental health as a key issue for COPE to explore, successfully implementing a program to promote universal health with underserved youth, and successfully implementing a program to promote health with homeless families.
  • SUSTAINABILITY: Once youth complete YHL, they become a member of COPE where they speak and contribute to the planning for the Coalition.
  • POSITIVE OUTCOMES: We have assessed YHL over the years and determined the following trends: Increased fruit and vegetable intake; decreased intake of foods high in fat, sugar and sodium; increased physical activity; and decreased recreational screen time (cell phone usage, video game usage). Parents attending YHL sessions have improved health behaviors as well. Youth completing YHL also have sought out and been selected for other leadership opportunities locally and at the state level.

Download 2017 YHL Application

For more information about YHL, please call (850) 645-8110 or email Dr. Penny Ralston (pralston@fsu.edu) or Dr. Iris Young-Clark (iyoungclark@fsu.edu).
We look forward to hearing from you!