Humanities Amped students are working diligently alongside community partners on the research and action projects they will present at our April 11 Conference “Resilient Roots.”
A team of juniors have partnered with Youth Character Camp (YCC), a program committed to developing and empowering youth to realize they can be all they desire to be when they think, feel and behave in a positive manner. The team meets weekly with Ms. Aubrey Pugh, McKinley alumna and Executive Director of YCC who previously worked with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals where she was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for many years. The Youth Character Camp incorporates a federal Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) initiative in their program objectives. The initiative is called Think, Act, and Grow (TAG), which incorporates five essentials for good adolescent health. The Youth Character Camp is currently doing four of the essentials, and the partnership with this Humanities Amped team allows YCC to incorporate the fifth essential: access to high-quality, teen-friendly healthcare.
In order to get input on this topic, the Humanities Amped students created survey questions that were answered by their peers. After collecting and analyzing the survey data, team member Trinity noted, “A interesting finding we have is that out of 77 responses only 14.5% knew about the HIPAA rule (Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act), leaving a whopping 85.5% clueless.” She further remarked, “It is important for teens to understand privacy, so that they will be more comfortable speaking out about issues they have.”
The Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Behavioral Health invited the community and providers to attend regional meetings, called Listening Tours, to share experiences on what works and does not work in the behavioral health system. The Humanities Amped students attended the Baton Rouge regional Listening Tour on February 14 and were able to both hear community concerns and, as team member Trenton explained, “[give] them some information that they didn’t have or know about teen health.” The survey results and other input shared by the student team was well received by the community, providers, and the leadership at the Louisiana Department of Health. Community organizations and providers in attendance even suggested that the survey be used at schools throughout the city as well as the state of Louisiana.