School of Nursing receives grant of $245,570 to launch Youth Power Partnership

School of Nursing receives grant of $245,570 to launch Youth Power Partnership

A $245,570 grant from The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, will enable Fairfield University's School of Nursing to launch the Youth Power Partnership, a new program to enrich the experience of students at Bridgeport's Bassick High School. The School of Nursing, which has a long history of promoting health and wellness in the Bridgeport community, is the lead agency, working in partnership with FSW, Inc., MATRIX Public Health Consultants and Bassick High School.

The grant will be used to establish a Youth Center at FSW, a non-profit human services agency, located across the street from Bassick High School. It will offer after-school and weekend workshops. A cornerstone of the program will be the student-mentoring component, where each high school student will work closely with a Fairfield University student throughout the three years of the program. The goal of the program is to provide high school students with the tools and skills to make healthier life choices, ultimately, reducing risk behaviors common to adolescents. Bassick High School Principal Ron Remy said that Fairfield students who take part have the potential to make a lasting impact on these high school students.

Lydia Greiner, the project director and Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, said this program is evidence of Fairfield's ongoing commitment to the well-being of its neighboring communities. "We have proposed a comprehensive approach to address the health issue of risk behaviors in adolescents, with the overall goal of enhancing factors that we know help young people make healthier choices and go on to lead productive, successful lives as adults. Youth Power Partnership will provide activities and education designed to develop or expand individual, family and community factors through a program of academic enrichment, personal development and wellness, career planning, cultural enrichment and service opportunities."

Jeanne Novotny, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Dean of the School of Nursing, said the program epitomizes how Fairfield students are trying to change the world for the better. "Our students will learn lessons of a lifetime and gain practical experience. At the same time, they will work to offer guidance to these high school students so that they can strive to reach their potential and find their place in the world."

Youth Power Partnership also will foster positive relationships with adults, provide role modeling by University students, encourage involvement in the community through service, and expose young people to possibilities for success through improved academic performance and cultural enrichment.

The project is 100% funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health.

Remy said, "I challenged the incoming freshman class to dream big dreams for themselves. The real challenge for these students is that, once they have the big dreams, they struggle to realize them. This program will help our students reach their dreams."

Brian Langdon, President and CEO of FSW, said the continuity of the program will help students in the long run. "What's different about this program, as compared to some others, is that it will follow kids for three full years, at a time when they are most vulnerable to the problems of violence, drugs and other risky behaviors. It will provide kids with a base of resources that they will need over the long term."

Posted On: 09-15-2006 10:09 AM

Volume: 39 Number: 31