Year in Review: Healthy Youth Coalition North County

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The Healthy Youth Coalition (HYC), in its second full year, served approximately 2,000 people at Rocktoberfest; had 1,200 visits to the weekly Teen Nites at Border Town Pizza; had 500 visits by budding artists to ArtScape Teens at Soul Space Studio; and served 250 residents at Community Thanksgiving/Survivor Day in partnership with the Blaine United Church of Christ and American Legion Riders. HYC also partnered with the city of Blaine and the Blaine school district to initiate the Blue Beat Bike Program for middle schoolers.

Future plans include partnering with Life Impact Church to create a Healthy Youth Center in their facility near Cost Cutter. The Youth Center Lounge is anticipated to open this month with fun games like foosball, air hockey, pinball and video games.

HYC envisions an expanding partnership with YMCA and working closely with Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2, Whatcom County, the city of Blaine, the Blaine school district and many others to help local youth.

HYC was founded in late 2017 when a group of Blaine and surrounding-area residents were shocked by the findings of the Blaine school district’s youth health survey.

Current data is already trending in a positive direction due to more feelings of hope. However, there is still more work to be done, with 17 percent of local eighth graders reporting sexual abuse compared to 12 percent statewide; 27 percent of local eighth graders reporting serious thoughts of suicide versus 20 percent statewide; and 28 percent of local 12th graders reporting serious thoughts of suicide versus 22 percent statewide.

HYC’s vision is to empower youth by helping them develop a healthy, connected, confident and mindful life filled with purpose and hope. Our mission is to provide prevention programs and opportunities for youth in north Whatcom County by mobilizing community members, resources and organizations.

Without the support of our current and future partners and generous donors, little of this would be possible. For more information on current and developing programs, and how to support them, please visit healthyyouthnow.com.

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