“A review of the data offers evidence of the Youth Empowerment Program’s success in addressing social determinants of health and promoting healthy lifestyles in minority youth. But it wasn’t until I actually visited a number of these programs and saw with my own eyes the work these programs do that I fully grasped the YEP’s impact. The data suggest a positive effect, but it’s also the emotional student stories of overcoming adversity that demonstrate this program is transformative.”
Seventeen YEP grantees nationwide focus on innovative approaches to promote healthy lifestyles and life choices in minority youth, each for a three-year grant cycle. Currently, all 17 YEP grantees have finished two complete years of their three years of funding. Each YEP grantee offers an individualized program depending on the specific health issues in the local target population of students. In this chapter, the early data from the Youth Empowerment Program and conclusions in key areas of health outcomes are summarized. Preliminary data from programs that address reproductive health, violence, substance abuse, obesity, and youth assets, including educational outcomes, are described throughout.