Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Somerset County 4-H Youth Development Program is leading this three-year project, in which a total of 30 youth from Bound Brook, 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 Bound Brook, Somerset County 4-H Youth Development Program is partnering with Middle Earth, an at-risk youth service provider, and the NJHI-funded Healthier Somerset Coalition provide youth a robust experience, equipping them to work toward building a healthier Bound Brook. These Bound Brook 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 Bound Brook youth worked to address traffic safety and enhance their walkable community through creative placemaking. In 2018, the team installed a parklet and murals in front of the Bound Brook pool, Smalley Elementary School, LaMonte-Annex Elementary School and along Hamilton Avenue. The team also evaluated the use of temporary crosswalks in their community. 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 Twitter, plus
Follow the latest news coverage regarding NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders:
Teens Paint Bound Brook Crosswalks for Pedestrian Safety Awareness
News 12 New Jersey. (2018, July 30).
Bound Brook Students Work to Improve Quality of Life in Town
MyCentralJersey.com/ Antonucci, A. (2018, July 21).
MyCentralJersey.com (2017, August 11).
NJ Spotlight. (2017, July 12).
SNJ Today. (2017, July 12).