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HYPE Project Update: Engaging in a grassroots, youth-led effort

Hampton County HYPE Team

Hampton County HYPE Team

Youth who are participating in the HYPE Project Teams this year have completed the first two phases of their project, which includes Think and Learn. They’ve learned about the differences between individual behaviors and actions toward healthy eating and active living, and about community influences on health. Youth also learned how to advocate effectively and become a champion for change in their communities. Now, they are ready to Act! The Act Phase teaches youth how to work together as a group to identify issues in their community and how to find a solution.

According to Eat Smart Move More South Carolina Youth Coordinator Trimease Carter, ten HYPE teams are currently completing sessions in the Act Phase.

“During these sessions, teams identify, plan, and actively engage in a grassroots youth-led effort to create policy, systems, and environmental change,” said Carter. “They work together by identifying a problem theme; conducting and analyzing a community assessment; identifying a problem for their project; and taking the appropriate steps to put their project plan in action.”

Many of the HYPE Project teams are advocating for increasing physical activity opportunities for teenagers outside of organized schools sports. Youth teams are interested in working with their local recreation facilities to improve teens’ access to physical activity. Several teams are completing action plans to allow them to do this at a local level. In addition, the HYPE Project is in the early phases of organizing a focus group of youth that will brainstorm ways to get teenagers better engaged with community recreational facilities.