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Local Teens Get Involved In Educating Peers About Health

Nearly 100 local students attended a teen summit in Third Ward today. It was put on by the City of Houston Health and Human Services Department. The goal is to get teens involved in their own health education.



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“Does anybody in here have an idea? If they were to walk out of here right and had to do a service learning project, what would you do it on? …”

Talking about health isn’t the kind of thing most teens would get excited about during their summer vacation, but these students have either designed, or will design their own service learning project. It can be through film or any medium they want.

Sheila Savannah oversees the program with the health department.

“Design health messages, to design programs that go into other youth development areas or programs or organizations and to really be able to know how to embrace and help us know how to make them safer, how to make them healthier and how to build their leadership to design policies.”

Savannah knows health isn’t the most exciting topic for teens, but says even things like sexting or cyberbullying fall under the health umbrella.

“Everything is health related, so whether it’s a community cleanup, that’s still public health. If it’s breast cancer awareness, that’s public health. If it’s about safety and bullying, that’s public health.”

She says teens are more likely to listen to their peers than adults, so by getting the students involved in the education process it makes the jobs of outreach workers in the health department much easier.

teen summit