Voices Article

Get HYPE Philly!’s Collective Impact: The Youth Health Movement is Here

PYN Voice

For Philadelphia’s collective impact initiative Get HYPE Philly!, 10 nonprofit partners have come together to empower 1,000 youth to become leaders for healthy change in their communities with a goal of reaching over 50,000 Philadelphia youth by 2018! Through physical fitness, nutrition education, urban agriculture and work readiness, Get HYPE Philly! is helping to ensure that Philadelphia’s young people play a key role in building healthier communities and creating a healthier generation.

During its first year, Get HYPE Philly! has encouraged over 442 youth leaders to impact their own health and the health of their communities, and has reached over 4,500 new young people, new communities and new organizations. This has created a true movement, with young people at the forefront as agents for healthy change in their communities.

One part of that movement is the Get HYPE Philly! Youth Leadership Council (YLC), a youth-led group of high school students who educate and encourage their peers to be active participants in the movement to live healthier lives. In the past year, the YLC focused on advocating for policy change specific to access to safe, palatable and appealing water in Philadelphia’s schools. This leadership group recently met with Councilman Derek Green and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell to discuss the prevalence of this issue, and turned their advocating into action with Dr. Hite, the superintendent of Philadelphia schools, who committed to ensure three hydration stations are present in each school in the Philadelphia district.

Priscilla Torres, a sophomore student at Philadelphia High School for Girls representing the youth council stated "It was a great accomplishment for us all in the Youth Leadership Council, and we are proud that our voices were finally heard."

Here is how The Collective is collaborating in innovative ways and creating change:

  • The Village of Arts and Humanities and Norris Square Neighborhood Project are engaging local teens in culturally appropriate farming, gardening and cooking. Greener Partners is facilitating intergenerational gardening between teens and seniors.
  • The Free Library of Philadelphia is hosting culinary literacy events starting in North Philly, focusing on healthy eating and cooking.
  • Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA is expanding its Y Without Walls program to outside locations and expanding non-sports programming such as double dutch and swimming.
  • The Enterprise Center and Philadelphia Youth Network are offering job skills training and workforce development. Fifty teens have been matched with paid internships at partner sites, and The Enterprise Center is developing a corresponding curriculum around topics such as marketing, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
  • The Common Market, a nonprofit food distribution warehouse, is working with local farmers to bring fresh, locally grown produce to youth-serving institutions around the city, such as schools and hospitals.
  • The Food Trust is expanding its pre-existing HYPE (Healthy You. Positive Energy.) program, in which youth leadership councils are developed within high schools and participating students are given the resources to develop an action plan to make their schools healthier.
  • Equal Measures as the evaluation partner.

Here is our year-one video celebration. Check it out to see more of the work that was accomplished at the end of our first grant year. Also, follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @HYPEphilly or visit online at gethypephilly.org

PYN Voices
by: Tara Miller
Aug 16, 2016

About Tara Miller:
Tara Miller is a Philadelphia suburb native with more than 10 years’ experience working as a project manager in sales and marketing. She is currently working with Get HYPE Philly! in a six month skills-based volunteering initiative that is sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline. She lives in West Chester with her husband, two kids and dog.

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