FACES Public Health Youth Corps
When crisis hits – we look to leaders. We seek voices and actions that reassure – voices that offer clear information – and people who show us a pathway to help ourselves and our communities.
COVID-19 has had a deep and lasting global impact – causing so much pain and disruption – and it isn’t done with us yet! BA.5 is showing itself to be even more transmissible than Omicron and that feels hard to imagine.
We need leaders now more than ever, and the FACES Public Health Youth Corps have heard their call to service.
Established in 2017, the PHYC activates high school students in a number of ways:
- Basic public health training including understanding health disparities and the social determinants of health
- Professional certification in Basic Life Support/CPR, Mental Health First Aid, Narcan (for opioid overdose intervention) and Stop the Bleed (for trauma and injury)
- Leadership opportunities focused on addressing a public health issue affecting their families, peers and community
The purpose of the PHYC is to support individual students into the next phases of their careers – but it is also to leverage their leadership now rather than wait. And each time we graduate a cohort – we have a new batch of young people trained to manage crisis in our communities! It’s just a good thing all around.
When COVID-19 hit, we knew FACES students are the very best ambassadors for helping us stop the spread of the disease. We knew they have the inherent resilience and skills to educate their peers, near-peers and families about the COVID vaccine, mask wearing, social distancing and more. We knew they search for ways to help, and want to do what they can to protect those who are most vulnerable.
With generous funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the American Rescue Plan of 2021 – FACES implemented the Public Health Youth Corps in California, New Mexico, Colorado and Michigan and students focused their efforts on stopping the spread of COVID-19. I can’t begin to explain how proud we are of their work! We are SO proud in fact, that we want to share some impressive data with you.
Here are some of the AMAZING accomplishments of the FACES Public Health Youth Corps in this academic year! And stay tuned – more PHYC students are on-boarding now. They will help us address COVID, mental health challenges, climate change, chronic disease and so much more. I can’t wait to see what they do next!