Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.
H.E.A.L.T.H for Youths, Inc was formed for the charitable
and educational purposes of assisting at-risk youth; combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency; and improving the quality of education, health care and
life-skills training offered to underserved adolescents and young adults.
In furtherance of this purpose, H.E.A.L.T.H for Youths will collaborate with non-profit organizations, schools and other community organizations which have after-school and weekend programs to provide workshops in the areas of physical health, mental health, social/cultural education and life-skills. Additionally, H.E.A.L.T.H for Youths will run a summer internship program in which students will participate in an 8 week internship program in fields such as advertising, finance, healthcare, law and journalism. The summer internship program will also include community outreach component, social/cultural activities, networking, healthcare education and other life-skills training.
The activities will be carried out by H.E.A.L.T.H for Youths’ workshop leaders, directors, officers, staff, advisory board and volunteers. Funding will come from government and foundation grants, corporations and private donations.
H.E.A.L.T.H for Youths was a client of the Columbia University Law School Nonprofit Organizations/Small Business Clinic. Our organization worked with the clinic from September of 2008 until May 2009. Being a client of the clinic ensures that our organizations’ documents are drafted and reviewed by legal professionals. Our organization will continue to obtain input from the clinic going forward. H.E.A.L.T.H for Youths had its first organizational meeting at the Columbia University Law School on April 15, 2009.
H.E.A.L.T.H for Youths will focus in and around the
New York metropolitan area, with the intention of branching out regionally, nationally and internationally. According to
the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development's 2008 Annual Report, 33% of the city's overall youth budget is earmarked for after school and extra-curricular activities.
While rates for certain health care issues are on the decline among youths, for New York City teens, ages 15-19, rates of pregnancy remain at 93.2 per 1,000, as opposed to 72.2 nationally.
Additionally, in 2005, an estimated 93,000 of the 280,000 New York City public high school students
used alcohol, and rates of smoking still remain high.
Great strides have been made to assist families in these areas, but there is still much more work to be done. This work can be done by non-profits such as H.E.A.L.T.H for Youths.
Heather Butts, JD, MPH, MA
(Co-Founder and Executive Director) Regulatory Specialist at Columbia University Medical Center; adjunct professor at Columbia University School of Public Health; Board member of several non-profits that focus on young people and underserved populations. Background in psychology in education, as well as teaching and counseling young people. Ms. Butts received her BA from Princeton University, her JD from St. John’s University School of Law, her MPH from Harvard University and her MA from Teachers College.