As part of its 10-year Building Health Communities (BHC) Initiative, The California Endowment (TCE) supported the healthy development of youth in 14 communities across the state. To this end, it has provided financial support to programs that engage youth in civic activities, including those that focus on youth development and youth organizing. These youth civic engagement programs have the potential to promote more healthful communities by influencing a) the behavior and beliefs of participating youth; and b) the responsiveness, commitment, and capacity of local institutions responsible for youths’ health and well-being.
PERE coordinated an evaluation of the BHC youth programs in collaboration with UCLA IDEA (Institute for Democracy Education, and Access), the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, the TCE’s Statewide Youth Steering Committee, and participating youth-serving organizations.
Our evaluation contains three main objectives:
To assess how and to what extent TCE funded youth programs: a) promote diverse youths’ health-related behaviors, psychological wellness, and investment in community well-being in the both the short term and long-term; b) impact the quality of interactions between youth and local healthcare, educational, and civic institutions.
To provide funded organizations information about the strengths of their programs and areas of growth. To this end, the evaluation will inform cross-site training opportunities.
To contribute to research on the health outcomes of youth development and youth organizing programming targeting low-income and diverse youth.