Youth COVID-19 campaign will hit close to home

Students on The L.A. Trust COVID-19 Youth Task Force are developing a campaign to promote awareness and vaccination in Los Angeles. 

High school students from 16 different campuses have joined The L.A. Trust COVID-19 Youth Task Force to educate their communities about the dangers of the coronavirus and the importance of vaccination. For many — quarantined for a year and grieving lost loved ones — the effort is personal. 

“While all of our youth have been impacted one way or another, some of them are also grieving lost family members,” Nina Lee Tran, program manager for The L.A. Trust. “These youth applied to our Task Force and were selected to go through a rigorous and fast-paced program to learn more about COVID-19 and make a difference through their campaign.” 

The task force is funded by a grant from Aspiration co-founder Joe Sanberg (Sanberg’s grant was facilitated by Ethos Giving). The task force started work March 1 and will continue through the end of August. The students, ages 15 to 17, have a lot on their plate, including learning about COVID and developing community presentations and social media campaigns.  

Follow the task force on Instagram @covid_19ytf 

The students’ participation “reminds me that youth are eager to learn and impact their communities, even during the pandemic,” Tran said. 

Learning will be on two tracks: Students will become informed about the virus, the disease and vaccination, and will also become experts on communicating their message at community meetings and on social media. 

Learning from experts 

The 22 student members meet two hours per week and learn about COVID-19 from experts from UCLA, including Dr. Moira Inkelas, Dr. Vladimir Manuel and Dr. Jennifer BPeralta. Topics include the biology and virology of COVID-19understanding data and interpreting local testing and vaccination rates; and understanding vaccines. 

The second half of each weekly two-hour session will focus on campaign and presentation development. It will be led by Tran, Program Manager Esther Yepez of The L.A. Trust, and Sabrina Rodrigues, an MPH fellow from UCLA. 

High schools and charter schools represented on the task force are: Alliance Ted K. Tajima High School; Bell High School; Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy; Carson High School; Crenshaw High School; Girls Academic Leadership Academy; Huntington Park High School; Jordan High School; Locke High School; Manual Arts High School; San Pedro High School; South East High School; STEM Academy of Boyle Heights; STEM Academy of Hollywood; University Prep Value High School Charter; and West Adams High School. 

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