PROJECT PROMISE CATERPILLARS BECOMES CERTIFIED YOUTH AMBASSADORS
With the goal of creating and implementing a community service project that can potentially impact the entire St. Croix community, the “Caterpillars” completed Heart to Heart International’s COVID-19 Youth Ambassador program. The COVID-19 Youth Ambassador Program was created for high schoolers and young adults to lead a new generation of health educators towards strengthening communities through health access. As participants in this program, the Caterpillars developed their critical thinking, communication, problem solving and collaboration skills while becoming leaders in the community. The 'Caterpillars' were the first students in the nation to participate in this program.
THE PROGRAM IS BROKEN INTO THREE PARTS:
Part 1: Providing a Foundation of Knowledge
These are self-paced online learning modules (short modules 10-20 min to complete each one) that learners will complete at their convenience. They give learners background knowledge & resources related to COVID-19 and learning & evaluation best practices.
Module 1: Basics of coronaviruses, COVID-19 Biology, timeline, symptoms, risks, and at-risk groups
Module 2: COVID-19 Prevention Best Practices (How to use mask/ Wash hands/ Hand Sanitizer/Cough Etiquette/ Social Distancing)
Module 3: COVID-19 Mental Health Considerations & Warning Signs
Module 4: Conducting a Needs Assessment
Module 5: Applying Learning Principles & Selecting Methods
Module 6: Communicating with Confidence and Respect
Module 7: Evaluating Outreach Impact
Note: Content for Modules 1-3 will adhere to CDC and WHO Guidelines. Content for Modules 4-5 will be supported by peer reviewed research studies.
Part 2: Creating a Community Outreach Plan
This is a live Zoom workshop that will be 1.5 - 2 hours long. Heart to Heart International facilitates the workshop, but do not tell ambassadors how to influence their communities, or what actions to take. Instead, ambassadors work in small groups to develop outreach plans that target the needs of their specific communities. They provide a "Community Outreach Plan Guide" which consists of the following worksheets:
Worksheet 1: Profile for Learners in My Community
Worksheet 2: COVID-19 Learning Gaps in My Community
Worksheet 3: Best Ways to Connect with My Community
Worksheet 4: My Community Engagement Plan
Worksheet 5: My Community Engagement Evaluation Plan
Part 3: Building a Community of Leaders
Heart to Heart International offers weekly/biweekly meetups where ambassadors can discuss their success and challenges to get insight and support from each other. Virtual discussions to promote collaboration and support are also an option.
After completing the training successfully, ambassadors receive a Heart to Heart International Youth Ambassador Certification. To successfully complete the program learners must finish all the self-paced modules, actively participate in the live workshop, and complete a community outreach plan.
Youth Ambassador Commitment
Self-paced online learning: 1 ½-2 ½ hours
Live workshop: 1 ½-2 hours
Community Outreach Plan: The community outreach plan will be completed during the online learning and live workshop.
PROJECT PROMISE CATERPILLARS BECOME CERTIFIED COVID-19 YOUTH AMBASSADORS
ST. CROIX, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, (OCTOBER 29, 2020)—When St. Croix non-profit Project Promise launched its flagship Caterpillar Project to provide a full range of programming for a group of at-risk youth, it made community service an integral part of the program. The COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped this. In fact, it is the focus of their current efforts! With the goal of creating and implementing a community service project that can potentially impact the entire St. Croix community, the “Caterpillars” have completed Heart to Heart International’s COVID-19 Youth Ambassador program.
Based on guidelines from the CDC and the WHO, the COVID-19 Youth Ambassador Program was created for high school students to lead a new generation of health educators. Heart to Heart International’s training program taught these teens a wealth of information about COVID-19. For example, they learned about the disease’s biology, symptoms, risks, and prevention, and looked at COVID-19’s mental health considerations and warning signs. Once they had a solid base of knowledge from which to work, the students participated in a live online workshop in which they received expert assistance creating their own COVID-19 community outreach plan.
Participating in the program helped the Caterpillars develop their critical thinking, communication, problem solving and collaboration skills while becoming leaders in their communities. Project Promise’s newly certified COVID-19 Youth Ambassadors are now excited to launch their “Stop the Spread” educational campaign. The group will be using a variety of social media platforms to educate others about how to protect themselves from the coronavirus.
“Despite the fact that they are all at home,” says Resa O’Reilly, Project Promise’s founder and president, “our youth are seeing that they can still have a positive impact on the lives of others and do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.” To learn more or sign-up for this training, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Heart to Heart International’s ongoing projects and mission visit hearttoheart.org.