“AALEADers at Poe and Holmes Middle Schools have been working to improve their local community. We are part of an advocacy project called Youth Engagement and Health (YEAH!)Project where we try to assess and improve areas in our neighborhood to promote physical activity. Our Maryland friends at Loidermann Middle School (led by YLan Nguyen) are also doing this project while the ones at Argyle Middle School (led by Johnathon Kim) will serve as the control. Designed and funded by Georgia Tech, the YEAH! Project is a great opportunity for many of our youth to understand why it is important to have youth-friendly spaces and what factors can prevent young people access to these spaces. i.e. area is unsafe, dilapidated play equipment.” – Yonsoo Kang, VA Middle School Program Coordinator
In the case of the partnership with Poe Middle School in Annandale, Virginia, students identified a need for the unpaved walking track to be paved to encourage students to use the track more often for walking and running. Students presented to the school principal and came to an agreement to prioritize the project. Students also thought about the relationship of their school space to the health of the larger community.