Youth Engagement & Action for Health

The Youth Engagement & Action for Health (YEAH!) manual and supplementary trainings were developed to train leaders of youth groups to engage youth and adults to plan and implement projects designed to create neighborhoods where it is easier for people to be healthy.  Engaging neighborhood youth and adults creates a strong community of people who become empowered to work for changes that support a healthier lifestyle.  Youth are trained to conduct neighborhood assessments, select a meaningful project, and advocate for change with local policy and decision makers. By participating in these projects, youth identify and work toward a goal, become empowered to create positive change, gain valuable leadership experience, and build a foundation for life-long community involvement.



Who can lead a YEAH! project?

  • Coordinators/directors of youth activities within community organizations
  • Managers of local community and teen centers
  • Coordinators of school or after-school programs
  • City and community youth advisory commission/committee/council leaders
  • Youth leaders in religious organizations
  • Graduate students
  • Other adults who are interested in working with youth to improve the quality of life in their neighborhood


What does YEAH! teach our community?

  • Why youth engagement is important in your community
  • How to conduct community assessments to identify strengths and weaknesses in local food and physical activity environments
  • How to advocate for changes that promote a healthier community


What's in it for youth?
While participating in a YEAH! project, youth identify and work toward a goal and gain valuable leadership experience.  Youth participants learn how their neighborhood environment impacts health and discover their voice in community advocacy.  Participation in YEAH! can qualify as community service credit or as a senior project.  Participants also may receive a thank you letter from the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative acknowledging their experience and service.


How can you get involved?
YEAH! trainings are scheduled intermittently throughout the year and are free to attend.  For more information, please contact Nina Ghatan, Program Assistant at 858.609.7964 or e-mail.

You can also visit us on Facebook to learn more.


How can you access the YEAH! manual?
CHIP is glad to share the YEAH! manual with partners working to engage youth and adults in policy, systems, and environmental change efforts that support health. Partners across the country and locally trained YEAH! leaders can access a recently revised version of the YEAH! manual here.*

*The document is password-protected to ensure that Initiative staff members know how many partners are using the manual and are prepared to offer technical assistance to active groups. If you have attempted to open the PDF and do not have the password, click "Cancel." When a new dialog box appears, check the option that reads "Prevent this page from creating additional dialogs" and then click "OK." You can now close the tab. For the manual, please contact Nina Ghatan at email and provide the name of your organization, your name and contact information, and a brief description (<150 words) of how you plan to use the manual.


This is a project of the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative and its community partners, including County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, California Endowment's Healthy Eating, Active Living, the City of La Mesa and WalkSanDiego.

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Quick Facts

  • Overweight children are far more likely to be obese as adults (California Center of Public Health Advocacy, 2009)
  • More children are being diagnosed with diseases linked to overweight and obesity previously seen only in adults, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease (The Obesity Society, 2009).
  • One in four children in San Diego County is overweight or obese; this is slightly higher than the national average (California Center for Public Health Advocacy, 2009)

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See our latest newsletter and the COI calendar for upcoming events.

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Physical Activity and Nutrition Database

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Core funding provided in part by:

Kaiser Permanente County of San Diego

A project facilitated by:

California Health Improvement Partners

San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative
5095 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite #105, San Diego, CA 92123
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