News Release| Pat Brown Institute; Cal State L.A.

August 1, 2011

The California Endowment helps empower youth to support a healthier community in Boyle Heights and beyond

 Pat Brown Institute is awarded a $249,000 grant to support Youth Civic Engagement and Community Leadership Training program

 Los Angeles, CA – To help engage youth in advocacy efforts that will improve community health in Boyle Heights, The California Endowment recently awarded a $249,000 two-year grant to the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs (PBI) at California State University, Los Angeles.

The grant will support PBI’s Youth Civic Engagement and Community Health Leadership Training program, and its new Building a Healthy Boyle Heights community collaborative, to bring together a select group of 25 students from Roosevelt High School, Mendez Learning Center and other local schools to educate them to become champions in advocating for a healthier community.

“This grant will allow us to train students to become civic leaders by equipping them with skills and knowledge in policy and strategic planning, and at the same time, to help boost healthy changes in the Boyle Heights community,” said Jaime Regalado, PBI’s executive director. “Engaging energetic young leaders in such an effort is the best way to promote a healthier and productive future for underserved communities.”

As part of the training, the students will participate in a two-day retreat as well as in The California Endowment’s Health Exchange Academy to learn the underlying causes of poor health and the need for health promotion and prevention. They will also attend monthly workshops covering such topics as how public policy impacts local communities, community and individual leadership, advocacy strategies, using research to support an advocacy agenda, social determinants of health, and the role of community stakeholders and system leaders in creating change.

While participating in the collaborative, the students will meet regularly with youth-serving organizations in Boyle Heights to research information and develop partnerships to support advocacy efforts.

The students, who will be supervised by a designated faculty and a program coordinator, will identify at least two health policy issues to focus on and implement as their community projects. They will then develop an action plan outlining the advocacy strategies for the projects, which includes reaching out to community youth through social networks and school newsletters, and meeting with system leaders and elected officials to explore ideas to improve community health.

The leadership development program culminates with the students presenting their community projects at PBI’s annual California Policy Issues Conference, where elected public officials, scholars, policy and decision makers, and corporate and foundation leaders converge to discuss and assess significant issues facing California’s urban and suburban communities.

The Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs is a non-partisan public policy center located on campus at California State University, Los Angeles that is dedicated to sustaining the vision and legacy of former California Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown through convening public policy forums, engaging multi-sector stakeholders and diverse communities, and conducting timely policy research and community-driven initiatives.

The California Endowment is a private, statewide health foundation founded in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians.

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 220,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students, opening in fall 2011. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.