Youth Empowering Strategies (YES!) is proud to announce the completion of yet another successful Peer Educator Training! Our YES! Bootcamp was held at Josephinum Academy. Twelve peer educators were chosen from our partner high schools: ASPIRA Antonia Pantoja High School, Josephinum Academy, Pedro Albizu Campos High School, Wells Academy, and West Town Academy.
The YES! Peer Educators were trained in reproductive health, nutrition/fitness, dating violence and youth advocacy. The peer educators also completed youth advocacy projects, prepared healthy meals weekly, and practiced public speaking.
The students participated in daily physical activities including: yoga, dance fitness, volleyball, kickball, and a power walk on the Bloomingdale Trail. Thursdays were field trip days where the peer educators were exposed to various community resources including the Greenhouse at Albizu Campos High School and a Humboldt Park community garden. We culminated the program with a Montrose Beach cookout where the peer educators were acknowledged for their accomplishments.
The final week of the program, the peer educators presented their advocacy projects to YES! Board members, school staff, and community partners. Topics included improving the school lunch program, a youth fitness program, teen parent support
initiative, and youth violence prevention. We had a great group of students this year and look forward to a great school year ahead!
At the beginning of the YES! training, the peer educators set fitness and eating goals as well as completed a fitness assessment. Daily workouts were supplemented by the nutrition and fitness curriculum and progress towards their individual goals was tracked by a mid and a final fitness assessment. We’re proud to say that each of the peer educators increased their level of physical fitness!
During the bootcamp, the peer educators were trained in the NuFit (nutrition and fitness) curriculum and put their knowledge into practice by learning about healthier food options and food preparation. We also had a presentation from Cooking Matters on food preparation and sanitation. There was also a tour of a local fresh fruit and vegetable market place “Cermak Produce” where we practiced reading food labels and left with lots of tasty and healthy snacks.
An important part of the YES! summer program is exposing the peer educators to possible careers and learning about the steps current professionals took to get to where they are in their career. It was an inspiring discussion for everyone present and we thank all of our speakers for their time and investment in our youth!
YES! FEST 2015
The peer educators were an integral part of the first YES! Fest, a fitness and healthy lifestyle fundraiser held at Josephinum Academy. The students were successful at getting several local businesses such as Finish Line, Chicago Athletic Clubs, and the Dailey Method to donate gift cards for the raffle prizes. It was a fun event and we look forward to doing it again next year on an even bigger scale!!
We would like to thank everyone who helped make this year’s training a success!!!
Tony Divittorio, Brandon Bailys, BAM
Dora Flores-Albert, CPR Instructor
Tanya, Bombshell Fitness
Molly, Yoga Instructor
Judge David Delgado
Dr. Drew Jones
Ana Navarro, LCSW
Erika De La Riva
ALBIZU Campos High School
…And all of our visitors for the Advocacy Presentations!!!
2015 Health Educators:
Kia Brown, Sandra Ortiz, Angela Townsend, Gynarva Monroe, Ekkehard Beck, Hilario Dominguez