News // August 13, 2014

CX3 Youth Spend Summer Creating Positive Change

Most students across the county look forward to no schoolwork and relaxation during summer vacation, but eight CX3 youth from Lincoln High School devoted their summer to identifying ways to improve and civically engage in Lincoln Park, a neighborhood in Southeastern San Diego. Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention, or CX3 for short, is a project based in six neighborhoods around San Diego County that empowers residents to change their communities to become healthier places to live, work, and play.

These youth participated in a six-week CX3 Summer Youth Leadership Academy exposing them to the social and environmental factors that impact their community’s health. They were able to experience learning outside of the classroom by visiting Mt. Hope Community Garden and conducting a walkability audit around their school. On this walking tour, the youth were asked to take pictures of the surrounding environment and create photo captions that would address their concerns in the community - creating a PhotoVoice project. 

Two youth were able to present the CX3 Youth Engagement PhotoVoice Project at the SANDAG San Diego Forward: Regional Plan community workshop held at the Jacobs Center on August 12, 2014. The youth shared their project with attendees including Darnisha Hunter, a community representative from Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office, who took interest in the photos and shared ways that their issues could be addressed. Hunter also requested copies of the photos to send to the appropriate offices in City Hall. Since the workshop, this PhotoVoice Project has been shared with members representing various County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency departments and community partners on the Live Well San Diego Central Region Leadership Team.

In addition to the youth's dedication to their PhotoVoice project, they have been busy supporting other community efforts including transforming an empty lot by their high school into a gathering place and hosting a CX3 booth at National Night Out at Gompers Park on August 5, 2014. National Night Out is a yearly event when residents promote neighborhood camaraderie and crime prevention through block parties and cookouts. At the booth the students facilitated a fruit and veggie bean bag toss game, offered free face-painting to children, and distributed healthy cookbooks. It was a big hit among residents. Their active participation in the community has been warmly welcomed by residents who are happy to see youth engaged in improving their neighborhoods.

Up next for the CX3 youth... they will be taking steps to implement their strategic action plan for the 2014-2015 school year. Their focus is on improving the health and wellness of the community they know best, Lincoln High School.

For more information on the CX3 Lincoln Park project contact Dania Barroso-Conde.