This documentation was compiled by the UC Davis Center for Regional Change in collaboration with the UC Davis School of Education (Nancy Erbstein, Associate Professor of Education in Residence, PI; Brandon Louie, CRC Community Engagement Coordinator; Deedee Chao, CRC Student Assistant; and Sarina Rodriguez, CRC Community Engagement Research Specialist) and commissioned by the CalFresh Healthy Living, University of California State Office as part of its Youth Engagement Initiative. Technical assistance was also provided to sites by the Public Health Institute Center for Wellness and Nutrition and the UC 4-H Youth Development Program. Chelsea Jimenez and Sarina Rodriguez, from the UC Davis Center for Regional Change, designed the report. This report would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) staff and youth leaders in the profiled programs.
This report documents the work of six CalFresh Healthy Living, University of California (CFHL, UC) county programs that facilitated a youth participatory action research (YPAR) project as part of the Youth Engagement Initiative during Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2019. YPAR is a process that engages young people in using the tools of research to critically assess conditions that shape their lives, with the goal of supporting action to improve those conditions. This report highlights diverse examples of YPAR in action within SNAP-Ed programs, with a focus on the professional development and organizational supports needed for extension educators using YPAR methodologies. In California, the name for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) is CalFresh Healthy Living. After a brief introduction, this report explores the key themes of capacity building, professional development and organizational supports within CFHL, UC YPAR projects and examines the many lessons learned from these case studies during FFY 2019, concluding with profiles of all six projects.
Documentation, analysis, and presentation of professional development and organizational supports needed to implement YPAR were conducted collaboratively by staff and faculty associated with the UC Davis Center for Regional Change and UCCE Advisors from Imperial County, Contra Costa County, and the Central Sierra Cluster. This report contains a brief summary of points informing the work of future CFHL, UC YPAR projects from Neelon, M., Meng, Y., Johnson, C., Go, C., Louie, B., Chao, D., & Erbstein, N. Forthcoming. California youth participatory action research projects illustrate extension staff and organizational needs. Journal of Extension. This manuscript contains detailed findings of key professional development and organizational supports needed to facilitate YPAR and is under review.