Youth Health Service Corps (YHSC)

Mission

To prepare students to participate in service learning experiences in health care settings or community organizations serving underserved populations

Purpose

The purpose of YHSC is to increase enrollment, retention, and success in the allied health and nursing professions by exposing high school students to these careers through service learning.

Goals

Participation and development of meaningful service learning programs in the student’s community.

  • Increase students’ academic and civic engagement via 20 hours of service learning.
  • Expose students to professional career role models
  • Support students with resume development for college or career planning
  • Participation in YHSC online social network to connect with students with similar interests
  • Become First Aid and CPR Certified

The YHSC is a Standards Based Program in which optimum program quality is achieved through four sets of national standards:

  • Academic Standards (see Connecticut’s state-specific Academic Standards at www.sde.ct.gov for more information)
  • K-12 Service Learning Standards for Quality Practice (www.nylc.org)
  • National Health Care Skills Standards (www.nchste.org)
  • 40 Developmental Assets (http://www.search-institute.org/)

Evaluation Methods: Eastern AHEC, Inc. evaluates the YHSC programs through qualitative and quantitative data measures. YHSC participants complete surveys prior to and after completing the program. Community partners and program participants complete surveys after program completion to create a robust and accurate representation of the success of the program from each perspective included in the partnership.

Program Components

The YHSC is composed of several components that, together, make the YHSC a powerful national program. These include:

  • The YHSC Curriculum Guide
  • The YHSC Service Learning Guide
  • The AHEC Nation Online Database
  • The National Program Assessment

Successful YHSC members complete the following YHSC Program Requirements:

  • 5 Module Curriculum
  • 20+ Hours of Service
  • CPR Certification

YHSC Curriculum Guide

YHSC uses a five (5) module curriculum to prepare YHSC members for volunteer service. At Eastern AHEC, Inc., the AmeriCorps Division Members implement and facilitate each module using various instructional methods. Instructional methods come from a culturally sensitive approach that best fits the Eastern Connecticut youth population. Modules are as follows:

  • Module 1: Leadership
  • Module 2: Service Learning
  • Module 3: Underserved Populations and Cultural Competency
  • Module 4: Ethical and Legal Issues
  • Module 5: Health Career Exploration and Post High School Preparation

YHSC at Eastern AHEC, Inc.

YHSC can take on various forms depending on factors within the community in which the program is implemented. At Eastern CT AHEC we offer several different modes of YHSC operation.

Course Curriculum Component

  • Norwich Technical High School
  • Windham Technical High School

After School Program

  • Windham High School

Elective Course

  • Parish Hill Middle School

For more information, contact 860-465-8281 x 406.

The AmeriCorps Division and CT AHEC

The National AmeriCorps Program is managed by the Health360 (formerly Northwestern CT AHEC) regional center and allows Eastern AHEC, Inc. to select one to three AmeriCorps Members to serve as YHSC Coordinators for a ten-month period. The partnership began in 2010 when Health360 received a grant from the National Commission of Community Service, which funds the AmeriCorps Division at AHEC.

The AmeriCorps division builds upon the YHSC service learning program to ensure that youth at risk of dropping out have equal opportunity to achieve success. The AmeriCorps Members receive training that helps them engage at-risk middle and high school youth. The primary goal of their service period is to increase youth academic achievement, civic engagement and pro-social behavior.

The purpose of the YHSC AmeriCorps Division Program is to engage AmeriCorps members in direct service and capacity-building as a YHSC coordinator in their local AHEC.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • AmeriCorps members will serve a full-time 10 month position
  • Recruit students and conduct trainings
  • Oversee the implementation of Service Learning Projects
  • Provide support service to students
  • Support youth participants in National Service Days

The AmeriCorps division is an innovative approach to achieving the AHEC mission, and was principally designed to support at-risk students. It combines participation in service learning projects with community support services. Participation in the YHSC AmeriCorps division will increase the likelihood that at-risk middle school students enter high school in good standing and that at-risk high school students graduate with skills that will prepare them for further academic achievement.

2013-2014 Eastern AHEC, Inc. Program Outcomes

  • 154 YHSC participants completed 3,761 service learning hours
  • 100% of YHSC participants believe they made their community a better place through service learning projects and that the program taught them things they didn’t know about health careers
  • 75% of YHSC participants believe the program taught them how to prepare for college & provide novel information about health careers
  • 38% of YHSC participants are disadvantaged students
  • 88% of YHSC Seniors plan on attending college in Fall 2014
  • 60% of YHSC participants pursuing health careers.