The philanthropic organization known as California Endowment is the engine behind a 10 year grant program across fourteen sites which suffer from lack of community engagement, don’t have access to healthy foods, and experienced a lot of preventable diseases. South Sacramento was chosen as one of those sites. The Building Healthy Communities initiative has four sections of their program: Health Happens Here, Health Happens in Neighborhoods, Health Happens in Schools, and Health Happens with Prevention.

Since South Sacramento was chosen as one of the sites, they have different programs for youth and adults. One program the Sac BHC offers is a Youth Leadership Team. The Youth Leadership Team is a group of outgoing youth who live inside image (3)South Sacramento, have a strong admiration to change their communities from filled with crime and sickly people to alluring, marvelous communities. They do this through community engagement, going out to different community events and telling the community what services they provide. The youth are mostly targeted, so they can be recruited to join the Youth Leadership Team to be encouraged to partake in the transformation of their communities. Youth not directly involved with the Youth Leadership Team can participate in other programs to occupy themselves during the summer and to stay out of trouble.

The Youth Leadership Team recently held a meeting at Sol Collective, a community gathering that focuses on the arts, culture, and activism with young people.  They spoke about having a booth at the Oak Park”s Farmer Market, swimming pools and different places where youth are concentrated.

“Working within the BHC has allowed me to meet different youth from different neighborhoods,” says Alondra Young, Youth Engagement Coordinator for the Youth Leadership Team. “It also has image (4)allowed me to engage with those young people and be their adult ally by using my voice at the adult table.”

“My work in the BHC, it let me know what’s in my backyard,” says Kevin Do, a member of the Youth Leadership Team. “I didn’t known that all these amazing people and all these amazing organizations were right there. I’m glad to partake in these activities.”

The Building Healthy Communities is designed to promote healthy living throughout Sacramento. They use different programs to engage and transform communities. They also need youth participants to help them do this. The next meeting Youth Leadership Meeting will be held at Sol Collective on June 5th, 2014 from 4:30pm-6:30pm. Anyone who would like more information about the BHC, you can simply send an email to Young at alondray@peoplereachingout.org or  click here.