Last week, youth participants filled the Kentucky Room at the Serna Center to attend the last workshop of the Putting Youth On The Map, or PYOM, series put on by Sergio Cuellar and Beth Hart of UC Davis Center For Regional Change. The Putting Youth On The Map series was a four part training of youth on how to create, analyze, and use map data.

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This series of the workshop taught the participants how to collect data using map data. The participants were first broken into groups. Then, there were envelopes taped to every groups table. The envelopes had a list of instructions on what the issue the teams were suppose to collect data on.

One topic was food deserts in their communities. First, the teams had to find the communities, which was the community of South Sacramento. The teams looked up South Sacramento on the Putting Youth On The Map mapping tool. They found in this community that it was a food desert because it has a 19.67% county poverty rate, that 46% of youth lived inadequate households and 54% of youth lived in adequate households.

Next, the teams developed a survey. Its questions included where do you shop, how much of your diet consists of fruits and vegetables, how much money is spent in household on food, and are there any organizations that teach nutrition, healthy living education, and gardening classes for residents in the community. Then, they asked two members of the team to complete the survey. The members in the team decided to plot out where the to members shopped to buy their groceries.

Shocked, the members saw that none of the stores they shopped at were even in the community of South Sacramento. The complications of this issue were transportation. Residents have to go out of their communities just to buy affordable, quality groceries. That means money was used on gas, and active transportation wasn’t able to be used by the residents. For example, one of the residents couldn’t ride their bike to buy a carton of milk.

After the teams presented the data they collected, all of the youth participants were presented with a certificate of completion from the UC Davis Center for Regional Change.image_9

“Putting Youth On The Map is important for a number of reasons,” says Beth Hart, co-facilitator of Putting Youth On The Map. “It gives youth tangible skills, so it can be applied to their own work. Our hope with Putting Youth On The Map is that, it can help project that are already existing, and inspire people for existing projects, by looking at the maps seeing where community are in need.”

This training will help youth have a voice because not only are they giving their experiences in these situation, they also have concrete evidence to back up their voices. Also, this can help influence politicians when they’re making decisions in their communities.

If you have any youth would like to attend the next series of Putting Youth On Map contact, Alondra Young at alondray@peoplereachingout.org

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