New Jersey Health Initiatives - A Better State of Health
A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program
Five Principles for Engaging Youth as Partners to Build Healthier Communities
February 11, 2020
In this February 2019 photo, the New-Ark Leaders of Health Next Generation Community Leaders team present their findings regarding chronic absenteeism to New Jersey lawmakers at a hearing of the Joint Committee on Public Schools.

“One way to tackle today’s upstream health challenges and create tomorrow’s civically-engaged residents is to make youth part of the solution,” write Bob Atkins, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Director of New Jersey Health Initiatives and Dan Hart, PhD, Professor and Director of the Institute for Effective Education at Rutgers University, for Grantmakers in Health’s Views from the Field.

Drawing from academic theory and from the development and implementation of the NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders initiative, they offer five principles for effectively engaging youth:

  • No skimming off the top.
  • Make youth equal partners.
  • Connect youth to community leaders.
  • Connect youth to community assets.
  • Engage youth for the right amount of time.

Read the full article on the Grantmakers in Health web site
Connect with Bob Atkins and join the conversation
Learn more about the Institute for Effective Education

Watch “Next Generation Community Leaders: From the Youth Perspective,” which features alumni reflections from the first cohort of youth. In these candid interviews, they share how they’ve discovered their leadership potential while working to improve health in their communities, the impact of authentic adult-youth partnership and the relationships they’ve built with their coaches and teammates.

Meet the NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders and explore their work

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