Youth Ambassadors for Health | Community Rally at Randall Gallery

Youth Ambassadors for Health | Community Rally at Randall Gallery

Youth Ambassadors Present Their Top Barriers to Health & Success

Community leaders, social service providers, concerned family members listen to youth if efforts to devise plans for change during Community Health Rally


Held at the Randall Gallery (999 N 13th St, St. Louis, MO 63106) in downtown St. Louis on Saturday, August 20, 2016, attendees were surrounded by hundreds of pieces of original art throughout the gallery, including the dining area. Guests mingled with ambassadors over a three-course lunch and walked around the gallery prior to the rally. Guests were welcomed by Bill Fronczak who then introduced Rebeccah Bennett to give the project overview.

Facilitator Rebeccah Bennett along with staff and ambassadors at the August 20th health Rally
Facilitator Rebeccah Bennett along with staff and ambassadors at the August 20th health Rally

Community Rally

Attendees listened to the Ambassadors talk about health issues that compromise adolescents’ well-being and success in life. Ambassadors presented their top seven health priorities, sharing why they are important to youth and what the community should do to address them. They also invited attendees to reflect on the seven priorities and to offer their insights and recommendations for engendering positive change. The 2016 Youth Ambassador Health Rally Notes present a summary of attendees’ input and serves as a record of their insights and suggestions.

The Ambassadors for Health Initiative is an extension of the Healthy Babies, Children and Families Initiative launched by the Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club in 2015. Twenty youth aged 12-18 were selected as ambassadors to serve as “change agents” and work with their peers on a call to action to encourage youth to talk about the barriers to infant vitality and overall health and wellness.

The goals of our Collective focus on key preconception health in the areas of sexual health and age-appropriative reproductive life planning, to present solutions for this problem to community officials, and influence involvement among the attendees and community. That afternoon more than 50 community leaders, social service providers, parents and concerned family members attended Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club’s Youth Ambassadors in Health Community Rally.

For two hours following lunch, attendees listened to the Ambassadors talk about health issues that compromise adolescents’ well-being and success in life. Ambassadors presented their top seven health priorities, sharing why they are important to youth and what the community should do to address them. They also invited attendees to reflect on the seven priorities and to offer their insights and recommendations for engendering positive change. The Ambassadors noted seven priority issues: Teen Pregnancy, Bullying, Sexual Identity, Gun Violence, Peer Pressure & Stress, Depression and Obesity.

These are what the youth identified to be the top seven most barriers:

Top 7 Barriers

  1. Teen Pregnancy
  2. Bullying
  3. Sexual Identity
  4. Gun Violence
  5. Peer Pressure & Stress
  6. Depression
  7. Obesity