Urban Promise Ministries is leading this three-year project, in which a total of 30 youth ages 14-21, from the Delaware Gardens neighborhood in Camden and Pennsauken, 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 Delaware Gardens, Urban Promise is partnering with Pennsauken Township, Healing 10, the District Council Collaborative Board to engage youth to strengthen their community and continue to serve as Youth Advisory Board members. These Camden and Pennsuken 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 Camden and Pennsauken youth worked to implement crime prevention through environmental design strategies and in Summer 2018, partnered with PSEG, their mayors and local police to replace broken streetlights and beautify public spaces in their Delaware Gardens neighborhood. This summer, a new youth team worked to build intergenerational relationships and address the health needs of seniors. The team connected seniors with available transportation resources, and informed them of and assisted with enrollment in other valuable resources for which they may be eligible. In addition, the team worked with seniors to capture an oral history of their personal stories. Follow the alumni and the newest team’s progress on Facebook, plus
Hear alumni from the first-year Next Generation Community Leaders teams reflect on their work, the value of meaningful experiences and authentic adult-youth partnerships, and share new insights that developed a broader perspective.