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Empowering the Next Generation: HEYA's Journey Towards Health Equity

The Health Equity Youth Alliance (HEYA) is a dynamic initiative born from the Community Leaders in Health Equity (CLHE) program, aiming to empower the youth of San Luis Valley. Residents from San Luis, Antonito, and Saguache came together for an 18-month program, resulting in the launch of this youth-led, youth-driven project. HEYA officially began in April 2023, bringing together youth from local initiatives Move Mountains in San Luis, Antonito Together, and HEART of Saguache.


The journey started with a two-week convening in July and August 2023, focused on building capacity and providing anti-oppression training. Monthly meetings followed, rotating between the three communities. These gatherings allowed youth to form strong relationships and learn from local leaders, including Town Board members, County Commissioners, School Board members, and Nonprofits. In August, the youth reconvened to hone their community organizing skills, discussing pressing issues and developing a plan to address them. Their efforts are now directed towards a campaign to change school policies, aiming to gather community support and present their proposals to school boards in September and October 2024.


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