The Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City is leading this three-year project, in which a total of 30 youth from Atlantic City, ages 14-21, are receiving guidance from trained community-based coaches, to better understand topics around population health, develop leadership skills, and implement self-designed projects to make their communities healthier. By the end of this project, the youth participants will have the skills, knowledge, and confidence to work with municipal governments, cross-sector coalitions focused on health, school boards, and other organizations to build healthier and more vibrant communities. The youth will also participate in a statewide alumni network to stay connected to their peers as they continue on their leadership paths and move into the next phases of their lives. To advance this work in Atlantic City, the Boys & Girls Club is partnering with the NJHI-funded CareAC Coalition to give youth participants the opportunity to engage with community service providers to improve a community-wide health issue. Other partners include the City of Atlantic City, Stockton University, AtlantiCare and the Atlantic City Board of Education. These Atlantic City youth represent one of 10 New Jersey communities supported by the NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders initiative.
In the first grant year, a team of Atlantic City youth worked to improve access to healthy foods by partnering with local food banks and the Care AC coalition to create a better system for allocating food, and in Summer 2018, developed communications resources to promote distribution locations to Atlantic City residents. A new youth team is now working to develop another meaningful community health initiative and implement it in the summer of 2019. Follow the alumni and the newest team’s progress on Facebook, plus