Hype: (adj.) Excited, enthusiastic, rowdy.
HYPE: (noun) Healthy You. Positive Energy.
Get HYPE Philly! is a three-year collective impact initiative funded by pharmaceutical company GSK that involves 10 nonprofits working together to improve teens’ health in different areas, while developing teens’ leadership skills so they can be “agents of healthy change,” said Aunnalea Grove, project manager.
The program launched in February 2015 and was based on The Food Trust’s existing HYPE program, a partnership with City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health‘s Get Healthy Philly initiative.
Get HYPE Philly! is a citywide initiative, but there’s a focus on North Philadelphia, so some involved organizations are concentrated in those communities, such as Norris Square Neighborhood Project (NSNP).
“They know that’s a high-need area of the city,” Grove said.
Get HYPE Philly! is aiming to reach 50,000 teens via 1,000 youth leaders in 100 schools across the city by the grant’s end on Jan. 31, 2018. How is it stacking up in its first year?
First, here’s how each nonprofit in the collective is participating:
- Village of Arts and Humanities and NSNP are engaging local teens in “culturally appropriate” farming, gardening and cooking. Greener Partners is facilitating intergenerational gardening between teens and seniors.
- The Free Library of Philadelphia is hosting culinary literacy events focusing on healthy eating and cooking. The GSK grant is allowing the library to expand this programming from its main branch to community branches, starting in North Philly.
- YMCA is expanding its Y Without Walls program to outside locations and expanding non-sports programming such as double dutch and swimming.
- The Enterprise Center and Philadelphia Youth Network are offering job skills training and workforce development. Fifty teens are getting paid internships at partner sites, and The Enterprise Center is developing a corresponding curriculum around topics such as marketing, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
- Common Market, a nonprofit food distribution warehouse, is working with local farmers to bring fresh, locally grown produce to youth-serving institutions around the city, such as schools and hospitals.
- The Food Trust is expanding its preexisting Get Healthy Program, in which youth leadership councils are developed within high schools and participating students are given the resources to develop an action plan to make their schools healthier.
- Equal Measure is the data group measuring the outcomes of the overall program. New results about partners’ progress are released bimonthly.
Besides tracking how many teens are engaged with the program, Equal Measure measures partners’ organizational capacity and development, and how individual orgs can grow their own capacity by being connected to others. This “social network analysis” will allow the program to judge where each org’s network has expanded — say, if it met a new funder or received professional development from another org because of its participation.
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“One of the things we noticed when we did baseline data for the social networking analysis was that all of the organizations had relationships with each other, but the individuals within these orgs didn’t necessarily know each other,” Grove said. As a result, “we were really intentional about making sure organizations had the opportunity to talk to each other, to hear about each other’s programming.”
In the first six months, Get HYPE Philly! reached 53 schools, recruited 442 youth leaders and served 4,500 students overall.
Equal Measure found that 44 percent of the collective’s partners formed relationships with others because of the collective. Some cool cross-collaboration has happened as a result, Grove said — for instance, The Enterprise Center began hosting a series of youth entrepreneurship classes at neighborhood Free Library branches and a financial literacy project with NSNP.
Equal Measure is also looking at behavioral and attitudinal changes in youth leaders with pre- and post-program surveys. Teens will answer such questions as, “Do you feel like you’re a leader in your community?” and “Do you feel like you can create healthy change in your neighborhood?”
In the first six months, Get HYPE Philly! reached 53 schools, recruited 442 youth leaders and served 4,500 students overall, according to Grove. At this point, it’s reach 62 schools.
The program is now pivoting to try to reach more students, Grove said, by connecting those in the program with out-of-school opportunities at partner organizations.
“We’ve learned a lot from this first year,” she said. “One of the big focuses for the next year is figuring out how we can continue to expand the reach. We have almost 500 youth leaders trained, so how do we give those students an opportunity to get their message out to more students?”
We’ll see in year two.