Positive Youth Action
Positive Youth Action is a new Leadership Development and Grant program developed at Damien Center to engage HIV-positive and at-risk youth and young adults, ages 16-24, in HIV Care, Prevention, and Advocacy that recognizes the need for Youth and Young Adult voices at the decision-making table. With HIV affecting young people at a rising rate, accounting for 55 of the 271 new HIV infections in the Indianapolis area in 2019, +YA seeks to interrupt the status-quo and paint a new picture of the future for young people, by young people. All while remembering that you can’t help others if you don’t take care of yourself, first.
Once accepted, the cohort will meet once each week, either in-person or online. Each participant will engage in their whole-self wellness regarding HIV care or prevention, learn valuable leadership and advocacy skills, and learn applicable skills like grant-writing, ultimately completing a project designed to decrease HIV stigma and promote care and prevention. That project could range anywhere from live performances to an art show to direct outreach – and don’t worry, we will make the right connections to professionals in a vast number of fields who can help direct and mentor the project! There will also be opportunities for the Cohort to engage in learning off-site, including travel to conferences and events. You’ll be put into rooms where big things happen, and we’ll make sure that people who make decisions know your name. Expect to leave with a new community of friends and colleagues as well as professional work training and references – interested graduates of the program can even apply for a paid position as a Peer Mentor at Damien Center!
Youth Support Group
The Youth Support Group is for Youth and Young Adults between the ages of 14-24 and exists to empower and uphold young people who would like a space to meet with others, be heard, and find peer support. This will be a collaborative space, so meeting location, times, and subject matter may adapt as determined by the group members.
The Youth Support Group will have its first meeting on Thursday, March 10th, 2022, from 6-7pm upstairs in the Damien Center conference room and will occur every second and fourth Thursday of the month. Contact Evren Elliott ([email protected]) for more information.