In rural Guatemala, where multiple factors conspire to undermine the public’s health, adolescent empowerment represents a promising strategy. Today’s adolescents are future leaders capable of promoting health within their communities, but too often, poor and indigenous youth are denied the opportunity to use their gifts in service of their communities. By providing these youth with the opportunity to attend college and gain work experience, the “Preparing Future Leaders” internship project helps these youth overcome two of the principal barriers they face: lack of prior work experience, and lack money to pay for college. Thus, this program helps youth take the first critical steps toward becoming agents of change who promote sustainable change and improve health conditions in their communities for the long-term.
Using a three-pronged approach, the project will address UC Berkeley’s empathy blind spot on homelessness by connecting the stories and voices of those who identify