Some high school girls don't have it easy.
"The number one thing they have to deal with is stress," said Steve Youn, community health outreach worker at George Washington High School. "We wanted to help students do self-care, not only here, but later on as adults."
To do that, the wellness staff joined with students to apply for the Innovations in Young Women's Health Award from UCSF's National Center of Excellence in Women's Health (CoE) and received funding for two proposals. The first established a peer mentor group to connect younger girls with older students, and the second, a year later, created wellness workshops, such as yoga classes, for the entire community.
The completely donor-funded program has supported 16 projects in 10 schools over the past two years, all of which have been designed by students themselves.
"We empower the young women to know what is a compelling issue in their school," said Nancy Milliken, MD, CoE director and vice dean of the School of Medicine.