Local Community Leadership Group (LCLG)

SHARED VISION STATEMENT
We will produce educated youth of integrity who are capable of making healthy choices and living self-sufficient lives.

MISSION STATEMENT
THAI Community Changers Project serves as a clearinghouse on adolescent health issues to build the capacity of youth, parents, service providers and other stakeholders to support asset development in adolescent programs.

VISION ELEMENTS

  • Community Changers Project will be a valued resource and focal point for youth service providers.
  • A ‘youth friendly’ network recognized and respected by key stakeholders as a legitimate voice of youth in the DFW Region.
  • THAI DFW will be a recognized youth advocacy network with influence on decision makers concerning youth issues.
  • Youth will have supportive resources in their environment to help them mature in productive adults.

CORE VALUES OF THE LCLG
Community Changers use Six Core Values to lay the foundation for changing perceptions towards youth and their needs:

  • The Improvement of Adolescent Health through improved community collaboration;
  • Youth’s input and participation in their own development;
  • Parent’s influence and significance in their children’s life;
  • Consistent and positive messages for the adolescent community from Service Providers;
  • Impacting and advocating for Policy Changes that impact the youth’s environment;
  • The positive use of Technology to produce changes in perceptions and behaviors.

PRIMARY ACTIVITIES OF THE LCLG

  1. Activate a minimum of 14 partners during year one  from the identified sectors of adolescent health.
  2. Conduct a Community Needs Assessment and Resource Mapping by the end of planning year one.
  3. Develop a Program implementation Plan with evidence-based strategies.
  4. Develop a comprehensive Strategic Plan to be implemented in years 2 – 5.
  5. Coordinate the production of a Youth-lead Public Service Announcement.
  6. Implement a comprehensive youth development program for the DFW region.

Strategic Plan Committee:
Chairperson, Helen Wilborn Wilson – Skillful Living Center
Fred Witherspoon
Tavian Harris – Seasons of Change

COMMUNITY ISSUES/NEEDS

The Assessment Committee was comprised of the 14 identified partners of the Local Community Leadership Group who utilized existing needs assessments and focus groups to determine the direction of the Needs Assessment instrument.  Tavian Harris and Helen Wilborn Wilson developed the measurement tool with insight from other tools that focused on capturing the needs of the community based upon individual perceptions. 
 
The LCLG conducted approximately 1000 Needs Assessments with youth, parents, and service providers.   Tavian Harris, Fred Witherspoon and Leslie Denman conducted ten assessment and Focus Group meetings with local youth groups, and the Faith Community such as Open Arms of Love, and The Chosen Vessel.  Helen Wilborn Wilson and Yolanda McCall conducted six Youth Focus Groups with youth at Dallas Recreation Centers, Youth Conversion, and Dallas Housing Authority.   Dr. Jeff Tanner, project evaluator and Associate Dean, Research & Faculty Development, Baylor University conducted a Focus Group with DFW Service Providers.

Some preliminary findings from the assessments and focus groups are:

  1. Youth and adults are requesting better access to dental and medical services; they have identified a lack of quality services
  2. More male mentors for youth
  3. More youth focused activities in church
  4. Service providers lack access to essential adolescent health issues
  5. The importance of the internet and having a computer as a main part of their  (youth) communication pipeline
  6. Youth Identified a need for God, family (especially fathers were named several times), friends and the importance of having a support system
  7. Teachers were identified as one of the number one needs of youth
  8. Youth also identified a need for relationship counselor

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