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WHA has taught me that no matter how young you are, what you look like, or what you’ve been through you can still do better. The mentors don’t judge the youth on their appearance, they like to have fun but are still about business. It’s given me something to do other than sitting on the corners or at the house. I’ve been able to talk to people that are in positions to help place me in a better position for greatness. Since being here I’ve had fewer interactions with the police. I can also say that I now know that I have the leadership skills to not only motivate myself, but to motivate others to initiate change within my community. Here, I have been able to do things that I’ve never done before, like voting in the 2014 mid-term election, put on the first WHA youth-led candidates forum, and participate in a Breast Cancer Awareness event led by youth.”

- Jesse Duncan

feature-img1Youth Development

At the Westside Health Authority, we work with young residents in the community to help them realize their ability to take control of the direction of their lives. To this end, WHA has offered youth-centered activities and services for much of its history; providing a safe and structured environment to supplement learning, to encourage healthy habits and norms, and to become agents of the changes they wish to see.

Currently, WHA’s Youth Development efforts target programming toward teens and young adults. In this way, we are better able to effectively address community concerns regarding the lack of safe options and rewarding opportunities for those who are most at-risk. We accomplish this with activities that teach:

  • Civic leadership
  • Civic engagement
  • Job readiness skills
  • Financial literacy
  • Effective communication
  • Cultural heritage
  • Life skills enrichment

Current Initiatives:

Youth Development

  • Afterschool Programming services offered onsite at WHA Youth Center and at local elementary schools.
  • Intensive Mentoring services offered onsite and at 8 local high schools.

Youth Employment

  • Job readiness training and employment opportunities offered for youth aged 16 – 24.

Youth Engagement

  • The Youth Working for Success program consists of civic leadership training and mentoring for youth aged 16-24 that are involved in the criminal justice system.
  • Our growing Youth Council is made up of area teens and young adults who take on social problems to raise awareness locally and lobby for solutions.

For more details on how you can participate in or support our Youth Development programs, call (773) 378-5034.

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