Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA

by Women's Health Specialists

In 2016, Women's Health Specialists of Redding conducted strategies to address contraceptive and reproductive health information in Shasta County. In particular, to conduct special outreach and education activities within Shasta County conducting  special outreach and education activites within Shasta County in order to develop and spread messages that incourage sexually active teens, 15 to 19 years of age to access contraception, reduce the incidence of gonorrhea in Shasta County. Report from the Shasta County Health Department stated, Shasta County is number two in the state with only SanFrancisco in the number one position for gonorrhea outbreak.

Two Teen Leardership training sessions were held, with eight young people each, between the ages of 15 to 19 who broadly represented our community. Each session contained eight hours of training and an evaluation component with a pre and post survey. Each of the students received a scholarship at the conclusion of the session. Youth listen to youth first, so empowering this gourp of young people will be a very powerful tool in our county and beyond.

These two leadership training sessions provided these young people with the tools and trust  needed to refer other young people to Women's Health Specialists . Peer Outreach workers refer clients from local organizations, schools in the Anderson, Redding, and Shasta Lake City areas. Peer Outreach workers also attend community meeting, summits, educations sessions with other community agencies to expand their area of education and information.

Youth Peer Outreach workers can demystify mistaken perceptions, create trust and comfort plus demonstrate leadership amoung their peers. In addition to making direct referrals, Peer outreach workers assist in developing preventive marketing and social media messages geared to youth in our communities and beyond.

This summer is going to be a very busy,informed, educated and empowering season. Peer Educators will be out in our community every Thursday at "The Market Street Faire",in Redding. Every Friday night, they will be in Shasta Lake City at " Friday Night in the Park Event". These peer outreach workers have attended the "Lao New Year Event", Institute of Technology Education Sessions, Anderson Family Fun Fest Event in Anderson, LGBTQ Youth Community Forum,One Safe Place VOICES meeting and event,  Whole Earth Watershed Event in Redding, and Take Back the Night Event.They have made many connections with these community partners and agencies for future outreach.

Young people do have the power and voice for positive change and this group of teens is contiuing to inform, edcuate, and empower all yourth in our community and beyond.

Women's Health Specialists practices what they believe, always supporting youth with a compassionate and learning atmosphere. Women's Health Specialists would like to say Thank You for your ongoing support of this project.

Former Young Women
Former Young Women's Leadership Institute Graduate

Women's Health Specialists Young Women’s Leadership Institute of Northern California draws on the expertise of health service peer health educators and local social service agencies in a comprehensive program detailing STD, HIV and pregnancy prevention information in a culturally competent manner, focusing on active youth participation and sharing of health information in a peer-to-peer manner.

The Institute focuses on active youth participation and the sharing of knowledge between groups to create a dynamic interactive process that is culturally responsive. This two-way interaction has created a growing representation of youth mobilizing their communities in new and innovative ways; bringing the best minds and relevant issues to the forefront.

Women’s Health Specialists is collaborating with the Native Youth community in a “Celebrating Life” youth-led POW WOW and Health Fair that is sponsored by local and statewide organizations to highlight the issues of native youth. Former graduates of the Institute and current facilitators will be integral in the planning and coordinating of this inaugural event.

This community based event will feature Host Drum, Northern Eagle.


Northern California Young Women Leaders Progress

These young women are continuing to provide positive word of mouth information to their friends, peers, and family. This has supported the trusted referral network while continuing to build leaders in reproductive health education.

Asha, continues to volunteer in the Redding clinic learning electronic medical records and the process that is involved. She is also learning more regarding clinic servcies and clinic flow. This is part of becoming an advocate for all reproductive health issues. Asha also assists other volunteers and Interns in becoming part of an educated, supportive team. Asha, along with other young women have completed our HIV/AIDS Education Training, and helped facilitate and put on the 2nd HIV/AIDS Training session with other yourth in our community. These young women continue to be a trusted peer outreach team in their community.

These young women and men are now educated peer outreach workers in their individual high schools, here in Shasta County. These students hold one on one education sessions and refer young teens to WHS for information and services. This method of education helps to remove many barriers to services for teens in our community.

SafeZone Training Certification Program

This program is a fast paced,interactive workshop created to develop confident, knowledgeable, and effective Safe Zone educators so youth can take this information on to their campuses and in their community. These young women are trained to be allies, educators for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender communities. The youth help support and create, safe people, and places that are known within these communities where they can ge help and information,

World AIDS DAY Event

Young women leaders supported and assisted in the planning of this event. Hosted event to make posters, and discuss the topic of HIV/AIDS education for teens in our community.

Other projects these young women are involved in are, STD Workshops,Roe v. Wade Event, International Women's Day Event, National Condom Week community projects.

With all of our on-going support thesr awesome young women will continue to be empowered, educated, and unite their voices for reproductive health care for all.

Shasta College Welcome Back Day Event in Redding
Shasta College Welcome Back Day Event in Redding

Women’s Health Specialists of Redding California continue to work with our young women in our communities to spread the power of peer education. Reproductive health knowledge and life skills young women continue to need for building self-confidence and honing leadership abilities through their peer-based leadership program. Our past graduates have taken the lead with the support of Women’s Health Specialist to continue this education with their peers, friends, schools, education sessions, and community events.

Young women 14-19 still receive 50% or less reproductive health services and education. With the Young women’s Leaders Training, this number will continue to decrease when these young women stretch their circle of knowledge and power.

One of our graduates now in the position Volunteer/Intern at WHS Redding Clinic. Asha, is a very powerful, informed advocate for young women in our community. With her circle of peers, they are sharing the services for reproductive health care. Bringing in young women for tours of the clinic and meeting the staff. Helping to remove barriers for young women seeking services. Asha has also gone thru our HIV/AIDS Education Training Session and now is a peer educator in this area of reproductive health. This young women is 15 years old, and with WHS on-going support she will make a huge difference in our community and beyond.

Women’s Health Specialist is working onhaving another Young Women’s Leadership Training in the fall, with our past grads taking the lead in choosing the next 10 women. These grads will help to create training manual, and work as co-educators.

These young women will continue to provide positive word-of-mouth information to their friends, peers, and family creating a trusted referral network while continuing to build leaders trained in Reproductive Health Education.

With on-going support these awesome young women will continue to educate, empower, and support a positive future in the field of reproductive health care for all women.

Condom Awareness Week!
Condom Awareness Week!

Wonderful News!

Women's Health Specialists has partnered with the Institute of Technology to empower its graduating students on removing barriers to health care and providing client centered health care in Shasta County and beyond.

Women' s Health Specialists is a woman-controlled, nonprofit that provides a range of services including comprehensive reproductive health services for women and men in Northern California. For over thirty years, WHS has empowered community members through education, self-help and clinical services so that they can make the best health care decisions for themselves.

Institue of Technology located in Redding California as part of their  mission ,is to  empower their students to embark in the health care field and their choosen  careers. The careers that IT offers are as follows:

  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Medical Billing and Office Administration
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Professional Medical Assistant
  • Vocational Nursing                                                   

Two times a year each graduating class with an average of 28 students each,recevies a WHS education session. The staff at Institute of Technology have requested an education sessions on removing barriers in all areas of health care careers. No matter what career a student chooses, they have the knowledge and information to to make our health care system more client centered, informed, and help remove some of the barriers to receiving health care. In each of session Women's Health Specialists staff  covers:

  • What does it mean to be client centered?
  • Compassionate, Nonjudgmental, Confidentiality
  • What are the barriers to receiving health care?
  • Cultural Competency
  • Education and Empowering Self and Community                                                 

Students are asked why they chose the field in health care and how tthey plan on making positive changes for the future.Group discussions, inter-active activity and role plays are part of the education sessions. With the tools that Women's Health Specialists have shared with them, 56 students are educated  to continue on the positive road to success and empowerment for themselves and their community.



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Organization Information

Women's Health Specialists

Location: Redding, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Linda McCrea
Redding, CA United States

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