Blog

Meet & Greet Connects Schools with Local Resources

On February 1, 2017 the Adolescent Wellness Network (AWN) partnered with The County School Superintendent’s Office Healthy Student Grant and the Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT) to organize and participate in the county’s first “Meet and Greet” networking opportunity. The event brought together social services providers and the educational community to promote local resources available to students and families. Terri Sprigg, Program Director for the Healthy Schools Grant, was a teacher for over 30 years and was inspired to organize the event when she learned there were many valuable local resources and services that she hadn’t known about when she was teaching. “Through my new position in the Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools, and the Healthy Student Grant, I was able to make many connections. I was surprised to see all that the community had to offer! I learned about countless agencies willing and able to help. Why didn’t I know this as a teacher? I could have helped so many parents and children if I would have had this knowledge.” Reports Sprigg.

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Youth Battle Depression. PYLoTs Take ACTION!

The Positive Youth Leadership Team (PYLoTs) is a group made of teens in the communities of Rio Rico and Nogales. PYLoTs aims to advocate and raise awareness, specifically towards youth, for different issues in the community.This is my first year in  PYLoTs and it’s one of my favorite groups to be a part of. One of the reasons I enjoy this team is because we  believe that information coming from peers has a greater impact on youth. I personally believe that this is because there is a sense of commonality; we are all in the same boat learning together. It is an extremely rewarding feeling to be able to take action on the issues seen in the community and knowing that you are working towards making a change.

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School District Wellness Policies Will Be Held to a Higher Standard in 2017

As many of us consider ways to improve our health and well-being in 2017, local schools and districts are also hard at work, improving their Local Wellness Policies to meet new, higher standards. The USDA requires all school districts that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to develop a Local Wellness Policy that promotes students health, well-being, and ability to learn. This regulation was first established in 2004 by the Child Nutrition and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act, and then further strengthened by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). The Final Rule taking effect June 30, 2017 strengthens the policies and increases the transparency, so parents, students, and community members have easy access to the policy. The Santa Cruz County Adolescent Wellness Network (AWN) and Mix it Up Nutrition Education Program have offered support and technical assistance to local schools and districts for almost 10 years to help strengthen wellness policies and practices.

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Extended Deadline: 2016 Positive Youth Leadership Team (PYLoT) Applications

Good news! We have extended the deadline for the Positive Youth Leadership Team (PYLoT) applications

The new due date is Friday APRIL 8 at 4:00 PM.  We are looking for incoming sophomores, juniors, and seniors to participate in exciting leadership opportunities. Students who live or go to school in Santa Cruz County are eligible to join our PYLoT team. This is a great opportunity for students to learn about issues affecting youth health in our community; work with professionals from health, education, and social services; and lead change! There are no minimum requirements for past experience or GPA.

Download PYLoT Application 2016

For more information contact Bernadette Hernandez (520) 375-6050 bhernandez@mariposachc.net.


Local School District making great strides on their Local Wellness Policy

Santa Cruz Valley Unifies School District has (SCVUSD) been making great progress in updating their Local Wellness Policy (LWP) over the past 3 years.  Their District wide School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) is made up of representatives from all six schools in the district as well as community members. The SHAC meets on a monthly basis to improve school wellness policies and to ensure that policies are being adhered to. The past 2 years the SHAC has reviewed the District Wellness Policy, making changes and updating it where they felt it was necessary.  They now feel the policy is stronger, and the administration will be better equipped to implement and enforce the policy at the school level.

All school districts that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) are required to have and implement a Local Wellness Policy (LWP). A LWP is a written document that guides a school or district in its efforts to establish a school environment that encourages healthy eating and physical activity. The goal is to provide an environment that addresses students’ health, well-being and ability to learn.

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Youth on The Border Conference

After countless hours growing as a team, boxes of wheat thins, and sheets of large flip chart paper, the Adolescent Wellness Network’s PYLoTs (Positive Youth Leadership Team) has successfully completed their first presentation together. The first ever Youth on The Border Conference was organized by Sonia Sanchez, the LDRSHIP Coalition, the AADYCT youth, CIA, Cenpatico, PHC, Patty Molina, Alicia Villa, and many others. As the PYLoTs, we were asked to present on topics we all thought were very important for our fellow teens: Sexting, Cyber bullying and Online Safety.

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Apply now to be a part of the Positive Youth Leadership Team!

We are looking for youth to participate in exciting leadership opportunities. Incoming sophomores or juniors who live or go to school in Santa Cruz County are eligible to join our Positive Youth Leadership Team (PYLoT). This is your chance to learn about the issues affecting youth health in our community; work with professionals from health, education, and social services; and lead change! There are no minimum requirements for past experience or GPA.

This past November PYLoTs were invited by Sonia Sanchez and the Santa Cruz County Drug Free Community Coalition to give a workshop about online safety, cyberbullying, and sexting at the Youth on the Border Conference. The teens developed an interactive workshop and presented it to over 60 of their peers.

“Being a PYLoT has opened many doors for me. It shows me how to be a better leader in different types of situations, meet new people, have more self-esteem talking in front of an audience, and I gain knowledge from all the conferences we attended.”

-Galilea Olvera, PYLoT member and local high school student

Download the PYLoT Application 2015

Return your completed application to the Mariposa Community Health Center Health & Wellness Department (Platicamos Salud) 1852 N. Mastick Way, second floor, by Thursday April 9th at 5:00 PM. If you need us to provide you with a copy of the application, please contact us.

If you have any questions, contact us and thank you for your interest in serving your community!


2014 National Latino Summit

This month, the Adolescent Wellness Network (AWN) sponsored a delegation to the 2014 National Latino Children’s Summit in Phoenix. The Summit is a collaboration to discuss current and future issues of importance that are affecting all children, but especially Latino children, at a national and state level in Arizona. The Summit is designed to feature national and local Latino leaders, academic experts, researchers, and policy makers to provide diverse perspectives on the state of Latino children and emphasize the trends and paths toward a more optimistic future.

Participants from Santa Cruz County included three Nogales High School Students, Cristina Brentley, Carlos Ramos, and Borje Lindholm, and three Lourdes Catholic School students, Fernanda Gonzalez, Andres Rodriguez, and Miguel Arlan Plaza. These teens are members of the AWN Positive Youth Leadership Team (PYLoT) and Mariposa’s Summer Youth Institute. Alicia Villa, Tobacco and Youth Program Coordinator and Bernadette Hernandez, the AWN School-Linked Health Care Coordinator also attended.

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Youth Attend the National School-Based Health Care Convention

With tickets in their hands, the Adolescent Wellness Network (AWN) and teen Positive Youth Leadership Team (PYLoT) members were on their way to the School Based Health Alliance 2014 National Convention. This year’s event was to be held in Seattle, the Grand Emerald City. The airplane left Tucson at sunrise. After a pit stop in Salt Lake City the flight resumed. Upon arriving, the PYLoTs (Aikka Ybarra, Galilea Olvera, and Carolina Siulok) and their chaperons (Cassalyn David, Patty Molina, and Erika Islava) went on a quick hunt for food. The hotel’s own restaurant proved to be an excellent option, and after a quick dinner it was lights out for everyone.

The first day of the conference was a bit trickier for the teens. With so many rooms and various talks they had entered the wrong room! Luckily Cassalyn saved the day and led them toward the youth track. Here the teens began to discuss about their schools and their encounters with health systems. As the hours went by the teens heard a presentation given by  Simone Bernstein the creator of Volunteen Nation, an organization that seeks to empower teens trough service. Simone gave the PYLoTs a handful of advice regarding the usage of media to empower others. Come lunch time, the teens headed off to Pike Place market. There, they ate delicious pizza and visited the gum wall.

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New Opportunities for Youth and Young Adults!

Apply now to be a part of the Santa Cruz County Adolescent Wellness Network!

We are looking for youth and young adults to participate in two exciting leadership opportunities. Local high school students are eligible to join our Positive Youth Leadership Team (The PYLoTs). This is your chance to learn about the issues affecting youth health in our community; work with professionals from health, education, and social services; and lead change!

High school students: download the PYLoT Application 2014

Young adults ages 18-25: download AWN Young Adult Application 2014

Return your completed application to the Mariposa Community Health Center Health & Wellness Department (Platicamos Salud) 1852 N. Mastick Way, second floor, by Friday May 30th at 4:00 PM. If you need us to provide you with a copy of the application, please contact us.

If you have any questions, contact us and thank you for your interest in serving your community!