San Antonio Metro Health offers toolkit to support health for local youths

San Antonio Metro Health's Project Worth, which supports social-emotional support for local youths, is partnering with San Antonio nonprofit Healthy Futures of Texas to launch a near-peer toolkit for local teenagers and college students called, "Recipe Book for Building Near-Peer Leadership Positions." (Courtesy city of San Antonio)
San Antonio Metro Health's Project Worth, which supports social-emotional support for local youths, is partnering with San Antonio nonprofit Healthy Futures of Texas to launch a near-peer toolkit for local teenagers and college students called, "Recipe Book for Building Near-Peer Leadership Positions." (Courtesy city of San Antonio)

San Antonio Metro Health's Project Worth, which supports social-emotional support for local youths, is partnering with San Antonio nonprofit Healthy Futures of Texas to launch a near-peer toolkit for local teenagers and college students called, "Recipe Book for Building Near-Peer Leadership Positions." (Courtesy city of San Antonio)

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has launched a program designed to help local youths in the workplace bolster their overall health in the face of social challenges, ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to peer pressure related to sexual activity.

Metro Health’s Project Worth program and local nonprofit Healthy Futures of Texas have partnered to unveil Healthy Futures’ “Recipe Book for Building Near-Peer Leadership Positions” toolkit, according to a March 15 city news release.

The release said the near-peer toolkit provides businesses with tools they need to help guide youth in becoming strong and confident team members through onboarding, developing goals, professional development and resume building.

“Now more than ever, engaging youth with opportunities to connect with their peers in positive ways and build valuable skills for their future success is vital,” Metro Health Assistant Director Jennifer Herriott said.

Recently, both Healthy Futures of Texas and Project Worth committed to creating near-peer leadership positions to work with middle school- and high school-aged youth involved in their programs’ leadership groups, the release said.



The release said near-peer positions refer to paid positions for young people who recently graduated from high school, are in college or are an alumni of an organization’s respective youth group.

"Healthy Futures of Texas is proud to be a leader in positive youth development, and we know that sharing our strategies is critical to building a San Antonio that is better prepared to elevate youth voice,” said Evelyn Delgado, Healthy Futures of Texas president and executive director. “Hiring youth into our agency has made us stronger advocates for youth and better educators. We can't wait to tell our near-peer leadership story to our friends and colleagues across Bexar County."

According to Metro Health, near-peer positions provide a stepping stone on the path to a career and demonstrate both organizations’ dedication to elevating youth voices and leadership within youth programs. This, Metro Health officials said, bridges the gap between youth and the adults who often lead the programs and organizations.

Elizabeth Tang, team leader with Healthy Futures of Texas Youth Advocacy Council, said the new toolkit is “a recipe that will help an organization scaffold a position similar to the one I currently am in. It provides an onboarding process, how to identify the scope of work for this position, supervision and mentoring.”

Tang also said serving in a near-peer leadership role brings leadership to the young people it serves.

“I know that young people have more capacity than they’re given credit for. I want to show people that we have that, and we can do it. It’s possible,” she added.

For more information about the Near-Peer Leadership position toolkit, visit www.hf-tx.org/yac or call 210-223-4589.

By Edmond Ortiz
Edmond joined Community Impact as a reporter in August 2021, helping to launch new editions in the San Antonio market. Edmond covers various beats in the North San Antonio coverage area. He previously was the main reporter for Local Community News, covering several areas in and around San Antonio, first as a freelancer and then staff member. Prior to that, Edmond was a community news reporter for Prime Time Newspapers and the San Antonio Express-News, including editing two community weeklies. He's a San Antonio native, and studied mass communications at San Antonio College and Texas State University.