In early 2015, the SD Youth Foundation, Inc. began collecting applications for a statewide Healthy Living Youth Council. Thirteen youth from across South Dakota were selected to serve on the first Youth Council. They attended trainings and utilized Collective Impact, to identify ways in which South Dakota youth can receive opportunities that will increase healthy lifestyle choices. Professional Mentors from across the state worked with the council to identify youth health needs through Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA’s), SD School Height and Weight Report and the SD Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. In October, 2015, the first Healthy Living Summit was held and over 80 students and teachers from across the state were trained to distribute their knowledge and promote healthy lifestyles in these three areas:
- Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Resistance and Prevention
- Mental Health/Suicide Prevention
We have been fortunate to have such an outstanding group of professional mentors wanting to help with this initiative and have assembled a great team! These mentors are helping the youth council through trainings, education and guidance. Youth are being exposed to careers and collaborating with these professionals to plan and carry out the October Summit! They are also working with them on the development of community toolkits that will be sent home with community teams attending the summit.
- Julie Moore, Avera Health, Pierre
- Dodi Haug, Human Services, Watertown
- Dr. Kristine Harms and Mark Geary, DSU Education Department Cody Lawson, BHSU Education Department
- Dr. Debra DeBates, SDSU Family and Consumer Sciences Education
- Jean Clarke, Healthy Living Youth Coordinator
What are you doing to keep yourself and SD healthy?
See what others from across the state plan to do and identify methods that work for you. What can you do to help make a healthier South Dakota?