August 1, 2019
LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY) held its inaugural leadership conference for LCAHY’s youth coalition, Teens for Healthy Youth (THY), in collaboration with the University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) Department of Public Health. THY members from Bluffton High, Hilton Head Island High School, Hilton Head Preparatory School, and May River attended the conference with their advisors. A prospective THY member, a rising eighth-grader at St. Francis by the Sea, also attended. The purpose of the conference was to give attendees an introduction to LCAHY, an overview of THY’s goals and opportunities, and to provide attendees with knowledge and skills needed to lead THY at their respective schools. The interactive, hands-on workshop sessions were presented by alumni of USCB’s Public Health Department and a former Bluffton THY president/ LCAHY college summer intern. THY members learned about leadership/team building, the public health approach to promoting teen health, effective and ineffective prevention strategies, and social marketing as related to recruiting and branding for THY. The youth had an opportunity to work in groups and discuss teen health issues and possible projects to promote positive teen health that THY could target in the upcoming school year. Students took a pre and post-survey to assess knowledge gained during the workshop sessions. A significant gain in knowledge was reported. LCAHY plans to use student feedback to develop future leadership conferences in collaboration with USCB’s Department of Public Health. LCAHY and THY are appreciative of the in-kind support provided by USCB’s Department of Public Health and the Admissions Office.