PATCH Youth Advocacy Fellowship
Population: Adolescents & Young Adults
Topic Area: Family & Youth Engagement
NPMs: NPM 9: Bullying
In 2016, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services released a Request for Application to coordinate a statewide Youth Leadership Council with the intent of ensuring its program policies, goals, and decisions about youth, included youth. The Youth Leadership Council was to include representation of youth receiving state-based programs and services, provide space beyond program delivery for positive youth development, and capitalize on components of youth-adult partnerships to drive quality improvement of statewide programs and services. The Providers and Teens Communicating for Health (PATCH®) Program (based in Wisconsin) received the funds to capitalized on the success of its existing youth engagement efforts which served as a foundation in developing the PATCH Youth Advocacy Fellowship. The first cohort of PATCH Youth Advocates convened in September of 2016, and the program has been evolving and improving through each subsequent program year. PATCH now serves as a key partner in helping the state better address adolescent health outcomes and public health goals via authentic youth engagement. The PATCH Youth Advocacy Fellowship was created to support Wisconsin’s Adolescent Health Program. It strives to bring youth voice to the forefront of adolescent health conversations while also providing young people the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to thrive and flourish into adulthood. The Fellowship spans the course of 9-months (September –May) with paid engagement and learning via training, enrichment meetings, individual learning modules, and the development of an individual Community Advocacy Project. Youth Advocates also serve as consultants, bringing youth voice to the projects and initiatives of individuals, organizations, and systems working to improve adolescent health throughout Wisconsin.
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