NMAC’s Youth Initiative (YI) is sponsored by ViiV Healthcare and partnered with Advocates for Youth. The program aims to assist young leaders in the fight to end the HIV epidemic, in becoming more effective and informed health advocates and empowering them to become more active in their communities. Each year the program selects 30 qualified youths ages 21-25, both living with HIV and HIV negative allies to build their capacity to partner with a local community agency. This partnership provides education for youth to influence HIV prevention and service delivery in their communities. Youth Scholars will take part in various events through their tenure including webinars and conference calls to help further develop their skills and knowledge to prepare them to lead the efforts to end the HIV epidemic in their communities and across the country. Active youth scholars will be given the opportunity for onsite training during the USCHA conference, where they will be able to meet the other youth scholars and have closed sessions targeted to youth empowerment and leadership development.
Virtual Training Overview
Youth Scholars will have the opportunity to participate in the three day virtual training to prepare them for their World AIDS Day community projects.
The virtual trainings are conducted in closed sessions during USCHA. Youth Initiative scholars will be given key tools and skills needed to partner with local HIV organizations. This dynamic partnership increases youth visibility and programming directed for young people. Through their community organizations and partnerships, scholars will conduct a mini youth needs assessment on the needs of youth accessing HIV care and prevention services in their community (May – August). Youth scholars will use the results of the needs assessment and design an HIV-related project for World AIDS Day (December 1). Projects will be based on the youth scholars’ interests in HIV care and/or prevention. YI scholars must play a significant leadership role in their World AIDS Day Project (September-December).
During their time at USCHA, YI scholars will gain skills and information to support their projects from dynamic sessions pertaining to:
- Stigma and Disclosure
- Health Literacy
- Medical Mistrust
Key Commitments of Youth Scholars
- Be available for conference calls and webinars
- Be willing to learn to administer youth needs assessment
- Partner with local HIV prevention/care organizations to support youth in your local community
- Write two (2) HIV awareness educational blog/media releases
- Work with NMAC and Partners in coordination of follow up mentoring and coaching support.
- Create World AIDS Day Project
- Be willing to partner and work in teams with other youth and youth leaders