Strong Youth Strong Communities
¶¶Òõ invests in todayâs youth as a way to impact the health of current and future communities. As the official Youth Wellness Partner of the (PFHOF), ¶¶Òõ, its health plans and the ¶¶Òõ Foundation have partnered with the PFHOF to help teens identify tools and strategies they can use to address many of the issues they face today.
The Strong Youth Strong Communities (SYSC) initiative brings teenagers together to learn lessons on life skills and leadership that help unlock their potential. PFHOF members who support SYSC work with students to promote active thinking, sound judgment and to enable them to connect with positive role models, leaders and mentors in their communities.
Hall of Famers who support SYSC, including Aeneas Williams, Darrell Green and Anthony MuÃ±oz, use role-playing exercises to interact with students at the SYSC summits. Each lesson promotes active thinking and sound judgment that kids can apply in their daily lives. In addition to youth summits, SYSC offers young people digital resources via web and mobile applications.
To date, SYSC summits have been held in 31 cities, reaching nearly 11,000 kids across 21 states. Each time, ¶¶Òõ has teamed up with local partners that engage local leaders and mentors from the community to work with teens.
The SYSC summits serve as a starting point for our health plans to leverage the connections and goodwill created with our local partner organizations to address the needs of youth and families in their communities. In Nevada, this has led to initiatives with RISE Homes (Clark County) to provide services that address housing and food insecurity and the impact of physical and mental health disparities. In North Carolina, this led to a pilot program with Robeson County and the Lumbee Tribe to engage with the youth about the support resources that are available to them in moments of crisis, especially for mental health. Programs like these, and the dozens of others that were born from the SYSCâs visits, are empowering community leaders, schools and families to better support the wellbeing of our children.
In September 2019, more than 1,350 local youth gathered in St. Louis, Missouri, for the Strong Youth Strong Communities summit. The event provided a platform for discussing challenges and opportunities while connecting with community mentors, leaders and positive role models.
No One Eats Alone
Supporting children through strong community-based programs is important to ¶¶Òõ and its subsidiaries. Through these efforts, we are able to make a positive difference in the lives of children across the nation.
¶¶Òõ with its health plansÌý, a national program that inspires middle-school students to end social isolation. A series ofÌýNo One Eats AloneÂ®Ìý(NOEA) Day events are hosted in February in schools across the country to support this national program by participating in a shared curriculum to teach students how to combat isolation and promote ways of how to be kind to their peers.Ìý
âThe last two years have been beyond challenging for students, particularly when it comes to their own mental health and well-being.ÌýNo One Eats AloneÌýis truly an exceptional Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum because our high school Teen Board has helped shape it, ensuring that it will resonate with middle schoolers. It contains all the activities they need to reconnect with classmates and create belonging for everyone,â said Laura Talmus, co-founder and executive director of Beyond Differences.
Ending Social Isolation
Each year, the initiative reaches more than 1 million students in all 50 states. Mental health is especially important now as students experience the growing stressors due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its social isolation effects.ÌýStudents have shown that when they are given the tools, they will stand up for others as empathetic and caring activists, not passive bystanders.
Many of ¶¶Òõ's health plans participated by hosting in-person or online events promoting awareness and driving change with schools in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Texas, Florida, and other states. Following ¶¶Òõ's local approach, each school put their own spin on the event.
National Urban League
The guiding principle of the National Urban League is to empower communities and change lives. As a national and community partner, the has worked with ¶¶Òõ to advance its corporate purpose to transform the health of the community, one person at a time.Ìý
The Community Empowerment Center opened during the 2017 National Urban League Conference in July and is currently home to the Save Our Sons workforce and jobs training program.
The grand opening of the Community Empowerment Center in Ferguson, Missouri.