Youth Resilience Corps

An Innovative Model to Engage Youth in Building Disaster Resilience

Published in: Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 2015

Posted on on November 11, 2015

by Joie D. Acosta, Vivian L. Towe, Anita Chandra, Ramya Chari

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OBJECTIVE: Despite the growing awareness that youth are not just passive victims of disaster but can contribute to a community's disaster resilience, there have been limited efforts to formally engage youth in strengthening community resilience. The purpose of this brief report was to describe the development of a Youth Resilience Corps, or YRC (ie, a set of tools to engage young people in youth-led community resilience activities) and the findings from a small-scale pilot test. METHODS: The YRC was developed with input from a range of government and nongovernmental stakeholders. We conducted a pilot test with youth in Washington, DC, during summer 2014. Semi-structured focus groups with staff and youth surveys were used to obtain feedback on the YRC tools and to assess what participants learned. RESULTS: Focus groups and youth surveys suggested that the youth understood resilience concepts, and that most youth enjoyed and learned from the components. CONCLUSIONS: The YRC represent an important first step toward engaging youth in building disaster resilience, rather than just focusing on this group as a vulnerable population in need of special attention.

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