This project will develop marketable skills in leadership, public speaking and visual arts for 40 at-risk and underserved youth ages 13-24 in St. Louis, MO. In utilizing these skills, youth will reach their peers and the broader St. Louis community to educate them on issues that are important to young people including reduction of STD/HIV transmission, violence, substance use and bullying.
For the past several years, St. Louis has been in the top 5 in the United States for rates of sexually transmitted diseases, and rates are particularly high among 13-24 year olds. Peer education is one avenue to increase awareness and reduce transmission of STDs and HIV, as well as become a positive influence around other relevant issues teens face like violence, substance use and bullying. All youth will benefit from sharing information, increased knowledge and improved health.
The SPOT is a comprehensive youth center that is welcoming to ALL youth ages 13-24. Our aim is to support youth where they are today and help them gain the skills to achieve their goals in the future. Leadership training, implementation of a speakers bureau, and creation of an outdoor mural allow youth to focus on an area of interest to them to mentor and inspire other youth to affect community change around issues impacting their peers and the larger community.
We will work with 40 youth to develop skills in their chosen area - leadership, public speaking, or visual arts. For participants, the resulting increase in tangible skills is a marketable benefit. Other youth will be positively impacted by new information that they can apply to their lives. Lastly, the larger community will see the power and influence that motivated young people have and the worthy contributions they make to improve St. Louis.