The Abbott Leadership Institute (ALI) is leading this three-year project, in which a total of 30 youth from Newark, 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 Newark, ALI is partnering with Mayor Ras Baraka, Rutgers-Newark’s Law School and Biomedical and Health Sciences, Newark’s Department of Health, law enforcement officials, as well as community service providers and residents. These Newark youth represent one of 10 New Jersey communities supported through the NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders initiative.
In the first grant year, a team of Newark youth worked to research and evaluate chronic absenteeism from a youth perspective. In Summer 2018, the team partnered with youth to learn why they miss school, and developed ideas to improve existing programs intended to address the issue. View their presentation here. 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