Houston Healthy Adolescent Initiative The Houston Healthy Adolescent Initiative (HHAI) is funded by a grant from The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to focus on youth and youth serving organizations. The goal of the project is to improve the overall health and well-being of adolescents and prepare them with a strong foundation for adult life. A Local Community Leadership Group (LCLG) was developed to assess the needs of youth in our community and to submit a strategic plan to meet those needs. The survey used for assessing youth needs was the 40 Developmental Profile (DAP) from the Search Institute. Approximately 4,750 surveys have been administered city-wide. Analyzed data is available, a strategic plan has been submitted, and program began in winter 2010. HHAI holds monthly Youth Engaged in Assets (YEA) Community Youth Meetings know as Youth Engaged in Assets (YEA) to provide youth voice, build leadership among youth and to involve them in planning and implementation of projects related to the Department of Health and Human Services and the LCLG partners. Over the past 8 months 129 youth have been involved in these meetings. All youth efforts related to HHAI will practice a positive youth development approach that strengthens their assets and potential. Key principles of youth development: • Provide youth with safe and supportive environments. • Foster relationships between youth and caring adults who can mentor and guide them. • Support development of youth’s knowledge and skills in a variety of ways, including study, tutoring, sports, the arts, vocational education, and service learning. • Engage youth as active partners and leaders who can help move communities forward. • Provide opportunities for youth to show that they care – about others and society. • Promote healthy lifestyles and teaching positive patterns of social interactions. We invite organizations to bring or refer youth to become involved with YEA by contacting Yolanda.Alvarardo@houstontx.gov.