Engaging Youth Advocates through the Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE) Project
The HYPE Project was developed by Eat Smart Move More South Carolina (ESMMSC) in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and the University Of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health six years ago. The HYPE Project is designed to enhance the capacity of adolescents (12-17 years) to plan, implement, and advocate for policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change centered on healthy eating and active living initiatives in their schools and communities. The HYPE Project includes five phases – Think, Learn, Act, Share, and Evaluate – and the HYPE Project logic model emphasizes strategies and outcomes at the individual, interpersonal, and community level to promote knowledge, skills, and voice among youth to create PSE change.
The HYPE Project has been evaluated by a national curriculum developer to ensure it is developmentally and culturally appropriate, and each of the eighteen HYPE lessons has been aligned to the CDC’s National Health Education Standards. In 2014, the HYPE Project received recognition at the national level as the winner of the 24th Annual American Public Health Association’s PHEHP Public Health Materials contest.