Youth Health Equity Leadership Institute (YHELI) Project in Danville, Va


Click to view the Danville YHELI Fact Sheet

The Virginia Department of Health Office of Health Equity (VDH-OHE) received a grant to implement the “Virginia Youth Health Equity Leadership Institute (YHELI) Project” in Danville, Va. This project is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, through the state partnership initiative to address health disparities grant.

The project’s overarching goal is to improve the public’s health by addressing racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in educational attainment through effective public health practice models.  VDH-OHE will partner with the Danville Public Schools and Pittsylvania/Danville Department of Health to address the Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicator (HP2020 LHI) topic of “Students who graduate with a regular diploma four years after starting 9th grade.”

Many studies cite education as one of the strongest predictors of health: the more schooling people have the better their health is likely to be. Through health promotion education and leadership skills training, the YHELI program could positively change the lives of the student participants, their peers, families, community, and future generations.

Danville Health Disparities Profile

VDH-OHE’s data division created the Danville Health Disparities Profile to identify factors impacting “Students who graduate with a regular diploma 4 years after starting 9th grade” at George Washington High School and Langston Focus High School in Danville, Va. Click here to access the 2016 profile! Or click here to access the 2019 profile!

Project Objectives:

  • To develop a user-friendly Health Disparities Profile for the LHI: Students who graduate with a regular diploma 4 years after starting 9th grade in the Danville, Virginia, school district
  • To improve the on-time graduation rates among ethnic and racial minority youth in the Danville, Virginia school district
  • To compile, analyze, and publish reports on Danville YHELI project results to share best practices, lessons learned, and implementation successesHere are some of the suggested curriculum modules to be used in the program:
    Critical Thinking Self-esteem Leadership Development
    Individual Health Health Equity Conflict Resolution
    Community Health Bullying Career Planning
    Empowerment Teen Health Teen Pregnancy Prevention

    This project is modeled on the successful YHELI pilot program in Richmond, Va., led by Brandi M. Daniels, which has been implemented in multiple schools in Richmond City and Henrico County.