VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Youth Advisory Council’s Summer Engagement Workgroup
Friday, September 11, 2020

*Photo taken pre COVID-19

Creative talents work to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Each year, BCHD’s Youth Advisory Council, comprised of more than 80 middle and high school students (grades 8-12) from Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach schools, play an important role in the health and well-being of their Beach Cities peers. 

With health as their focus, 2020 has clearly been one of the Council’s most important and demanding years. So, this month we thought we’d take a look at the effective support that this enterprising team has provided.

This year, 17 students from the Youth Advisory Council’s Summer Engagement Workgroup were tasked with creating a COVID-19 Health & Safety Campaign to educate the community about how certain actions can impact the rate of infections.

Various models have been established to illustrate the impact of social distancing and the wearing of face coverings. As an example, a team of researchers at the University of Connecticut showed that if just 10 percent of people wear face coverings and stay six feet apart, the number of infected people increases from 100 on day one, to 824 on day 30, and 510 on day 90. However, if 75 percent of people are wearing face coverings and physical distancing, the number of infected people goes from 100 on day one, to 79 on day 30 to two infected people on day 90.

Under the guidance of Youth Engagement Coordinator Shana Martinez, the campaign focused on the four health priorities of handwashing, face coverings, six feet physical distancing and staying home if sick.

Taking one particularly powerful poster “What does 6ft physical distance look like” as an example, this provides an important reminder to us all that six feet is as long as two picnic tables side by side, or the length of a yoga mat. Other posters provided impactful illustrations of how to correctly wash our hands, and the definition of an effective face covering.

Aside from the posters and videos offering advice and guidance, the students also created a video sharing their emotions of the COVID-19 impact on their lives.

Responding to questions such as ‘When you’ve felt stressed out, what do you do to make yourself feel better?” and ‘What’s one thing you wish adults knew about what kids your age are going through right now?” The open and honest responses from youth of younger and older ages included going on vacation, missing the classroom dynamic, missing friends and family, and of course missing their prom!

The professional posters and video materials created have been sent to the Beach Cities school districts, to be displayed on their schools’ campuses and social media platforms.

These informative media can be viewed at https://www.bchd.org/covid-schools. This includes posters and videos (scroll down to find them) that this years’ Youth Advisory Council’s Summer Engagement Workgroup produced including the Impact of COVID-19 on Beach Cities Students video. 

BCHD is currently recruiting for the Youth Advisory Council for academic year 2020-21 and accepting applications from middle and high school students until September 18. For more information on the Youth Advisory Council, please visit the website: https://www.bchd.org/youthadvisorycouncil.

Written by Sue Murray, Volunteer Spotlight Writer