Community Action Grant in Action 2013-14: The Family Van

In April 2014 The Family Van received a $25,000 grant from the Foundation to support the organization’s Youth Initiative, more specifically, the training of volunteers to co-lead a summer program; focused on youth specific health priorities, and to develop youth-specific marketing initiatives.

The Family Van
 
The organization’s Youth Initiative seeks to improve health seeking behaviors in young adults through targeted outreach efforts that promote usage of the Family Van.
The Family Van was able to meet or exceed all anticipated outcomes and these include:

  • Exceeded efforts to reach 80% minority youth – approximately 99% of the youth clients served were people of color.
  • More structured social media presence – using Facebook, Twitter, and the website, the organization saw a 100% increase in people engaged with posts, including 57% more “likes,” and a 61% increase in new visits to the website.
  • Collaborated with a university-based media literacy program, local youth development organization, and two student peer leaders to successfully coordinate a group of youth to kick off outreach efforts for the year. This was followed by a process evaluation to identify key learning’s and to provide insight into improvements moving forward.
  • Youth, through their involvement with the Family Van, were able to explore a wide variety of career options during the summer project, including videography, web design, video production, health education, and marketing.
  • 92% of the youth participating in the youth workshops stated that they will apply the information to their life.

The overall goals of the Family Van are to improve health in underserved communities, improve access to health and social services in underserved communities, train the next generation of culturally competent and diverse healthcare professionals and build the capacity of the emerging mobile health clinic sector by creating tools, sharing best practices, and conducting research to establish the evidence base.

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