This year, FACES for the Future is piloting its new FACES Public Health Youth Corps (PHYC) – an innovative project designed to expose young people to the field of public health while arming them with professional certifications that can help support their career aspirations and employability. The broader goal is to ensure that each community has a group of young leaders, who are prepared with skills to create a safety net of interventions during an emergency. The project was piloted in the FACES Sacramento program and students have already received public health training from the CA Department of Public Health, were certified in Mental Health First Aid by FACES staff, certified in Stop-the-Bleed by professionals from UC Davis, and received training in OD Prevention from Safer Alternatives Thru Networking and Education (SANE).
FACES Sacramento Program Coordinator, Lizzy Boehringer, says “The community partners that provided these trainings and certifications are very special to FACES Sacramento. They really made it a goal to have hands on examples and demonstrations for the students to ensure that they are having a fun learning experience. The students are enjoying the Public Health Youth Corps and they are excited to have these certifications under their belt and are ready to use what they learned at any time in their communities. Also, it is great because they can put these certifications on their resume to make them more competitive for future jobs, schools, and internships!”
FACES is also piloting a PHYC in its Albuquerque, NM program this summer. In a partnership between FACES for the Future, Central New Mexico Community College and Lovelace Health, FACES students will receive college credit while becoming certified as Community Health Workers. They’ll be experiencing what working with patients is really like through work-based learning at Lovelace, while preparing themselves for entering the workforce!