Knowledge of the Community


Our second week of Youth Empowering Strategies Summer Bootcamp!


My name is Brandon Sims and I am a Health Educator for Youth Empowering Strategies (YES!). The theme of this week, the second of our summer boot camp, was “Knowledge of the Community”. This theme was reinforced throughout the week.

Monday we did a community assessment of East Humboldt Park. We surveyed the neighborhood: identifying both youth resources and areas of lack. This included identifying grocery stores, youth centers, recreational facilities, medical clinics, bus stops, and vacant lots.  During the assessment we stopped at Vida Sida, a HIV prevention clinic. There the students were introduced to the concepts of public health and disease prevention.



Thursday we went to the Chicago Greater Food Depository. We packaged water and vegetables for the community. During the couple hours we were there, the group packaged 6250 lbs of water, 8106 lbs of cabbage, and 2415 bags of beans. Overall this totaled to 21,501 lbs of food and a whopping 18,001 meals for the community!


Throughout the week, the students were taught lessons. This included: urban ethnography, reproductive anatomy, STI prevention, cultural competency, diet limitations for people with diabetes, and food insecurity. In addition the students continued to learn about healthy cooking. This week the dishes we made included stir-fry and turkey burgers. The students also continued worked on their advocacy projects. Each student is working with a research topic: related either to nutrition, fitness, reproductive health, or youth violence. This week they finalized their surveys, to be passed out to youth in their communities. Afterward they will analyze the data and come up with conclusions. This will culminate into a final presentation the final week of the boot camp. Learn more about our August 2 event here!

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