Since February 2014, several students have actively participated with Day One to work on securing installation of new hydration stations on campus as part of a youth engagement project funded by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Champions for Change program. Through the administration of peer surveys and a Photovoice project students were able to document their assessment of the quality of water on campus and identify that there was a strong need for new water fountains on campus.
Students Maria Mondragon and Zania Acosta attended the Special Meeting Regarding the Central Arroyo in August 2014, and presented the idea of new water fountains on the Muir campus. Following this forum, the students’ findings were presented to the Pasadena Public Works Department as a proposal to include new water fountains within the remodel budget for the Muir Softball Field. These instrumental conversations resulted in the inclusion of a hydration station in the Muir Softball field remodel.
The expressed interest in these innovative hydration stations stem from the nutrition education youth have received through the Day One Champions for Change program which teaches the importance of youth engagement in combatting obesity and preventing obesity related illnesses in the community. Following the Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) model, youth engage in leadership, critical thinking, problem-solving, and community based research to address an identified issue related to consumption and access to healthy foods and beverages, as well as physical activity opportunities in their environment. In addition, youth also engage in a Photovoice project that provides them the opportunity to use photography to tell a story about their community environments from their perspective.
Day One commends the Youth Advocates in their efforts to better both the physical environment of their campus, and the overall health of the city’s residents!