The Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE) Project is a curriculum-based program focused on teaching youth leadership skills and the policy, systems, and environmental change process.

Through the HYPE Project, youth ages 12-17 engage with their community leaders to implement strategies that lead to increased access to healthy foods and safe physical activity.

The HYPE Project is a five-phased model that enables youth to impact their community by cultivating grassroots support through youth-led campaigns primarily in rural and underserved communities. The five phases are:

Engages youth in the critical thinking process, which builds awareness and interest in healthy eating/active living and policy, systems, and environmental change. Youth think beyond the individual level and consider the impacts of community and environmental influences on health.

Builds the skills of youth by providing them with culturally- and age-appropriate training, so that they can be effective champions for change. Youth learn what it means to be a champion for change, how to work with the media, and how to plan a HYPE project.

Identifies, plans, and actively engages youth in a grassroots, youth-led effort to create policy, systems, and environmental change. HYPE teams identify the problem theme; learn, conduct and analyze a community assessment; choose a specific project focus; create and implement an action plan; and reflect on their work.

Allows HYPE teams to report their projects to community stakeholders and peers. Youth develop engaging HYPE Project presentations and present them within their communities and at the HYPE Project Youth Summit.

Evaluates the process and outcomes of the HYPE Project to ensure all goals are met. Youth work with the HYPE Project’s evaluation team to provide evaluation data on the HYPE Project.

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