GrassROOTS Community Foundation (GCF) is a public health and social action organization. We invest in our community members’ collective well-being, so that they can use their health and energy to transform themselves, their families and communities. We support, develop and scale health and wellness programs for women and girls, particularly those who are impoverished. We also advocate for policies and practices that reduce disparities and foster equity.
Our mission is to create a world where ALL girls grow up to be healthy women. We focus on women and girls with an experience of poverty.
The LEAVES curriculum is a part of GrassROOTS’ continuum of community health programming that corresponds to girls’ developmental needs from childhood to adulthood. We call this curriculum LEAVES because leaves are the energy source for trees; they are essential for a tree’s long-term health. Similarly, what occurs in early adolescence greatly shapes health and wellbeing in adulthood. Evidence shows that impoverished Black and Latina adolescent girls (10-14) are at high risk for poor physical, mental, and sexual health. Failure to nurture girls’ caregiving and residential environments to support healthy development at this crucial stage contributes to high incidences of obesity, depression, anxiety, and risky sexual behaviors, all of which diminish economic and social mobility throughout life course, especially for females.
The GrassROOTS LEAVES curriculum address these documented health and wellness disparities in a 12-week intense and fun wellness curriculum that draws upon and expand the World Health Organization’s definition of health: “not just the absence of illness, rather a state of holistic well-being.” The curriculum supports girls well-being while also supporting their caregiving and neighborhood well-being. More specifically, the LEAVES curriculum is design to improve health and well-being of adolescent girls through and activity based curriculum, supporting and guiding girls to become agents of health change for themselves, their families, and their communities. The facilitation by Wellness Coaches will be achieved through teaching fact-based wellness information, and coaching the girls in how and when to apply their skills. Our goal is support girls by creating a context for that supports their wellbeing, providing resources that allow them to live a healthy lifestyle and cultivating a healthy environment for them, their families and the community in which they reside.
Our curriculum focuses on four key factors linked to, and essential for, strong health and well-being of adolescent girls: Physical Health (healthy eating and sustained physical activity); Mental Health (Self-efficacy, self-confidence, and positive self-image); Sexual Health (informed sexual decision-making); and Economics of Health (relationship between economic structures and individual and community health behaviors). The curriculum includes goal making, interactive experiences, guest speakers, journaling, dynamic discussions, and role-playing, all aimed at teaching adolescent girls about interrelated dimensions of these four areas of health.
The LEAVES curriculum is based on social-cognitive theory (SCT) ², integrated with four African-centered principles: Truth, Order, Balance, and Reciprocity. The LEAVES curriculum makes the principles of Truth, Order, Balance, and Reciprocity “come alive” for the girls. Each lesson builds on each other and principles are taught sequentially to arm girls first with factual knowledge, (TRUTH), then skills, (ORDER), and then the critical thinking skills (BALANCE) needed to become actively engaged in their families. Girls will apply all previous lessons to help them influence their family’s well-being and potentially impact the community’s health, (RECIPROCITY). The overarching goal is to help girls make the connection between their individual health (and lack thereof) to that of their families and community’s. During the final weeks of the curriculum the girls will apply what they have learned by developing a social action/advocacy project that addresses a specific structural or environmental inequity within their communities. A girl who has completed the LEAVES curriculum will have an enhanced positive self-image, increased skills to prepare healthy meals, improve awareness of life-long benefits of physical activity, increased knowledge of healthy sexual decision-making and more insights into the relationship between their individual health and her personal economic environment.
Specific Job Summary:
In this role as Mental Health Wellness Coach, you will be responsible for facilitating group conversations with girls. Additionally, you will support girls’ confidence and self-efficacy, teach ally-building skills, facilitate group and individual connections as well as help girls access resources that improve their life chances. Moreover, you will work closely with the girls, their families, and the community to execute social action work in their community. All coaches will collaborate with their fellow coaches as well as with The GrassROOTS team President, Program, Partnership and Research Team.
Primary roles and responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Lead one large group wellness session once per week
- Participate in the research and data collection processes.
- Participate in monthly training and debriefing meetings
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited 4-year college or university preferred, but not necessary.
- A demonstrated passion for working with young urban youth and a demonstrated belief in GCF’s mission of public health and social action
- Previous experience working with community organizations
- Superlative analytic, organizational and writing skills
- Ability to effectively communicate with diverse stakeholders (church, parents, adult caregivers, staffers, African American, Latinos and whites)
- A strong commitment to personal well-being
- At least 2 years working in an educational setting
- GCF will require a background check and may require a drug screen for this position.
- Confidentiality is critical in this role
- GCF will require signed confidentiality agreement.
To be a successful member of the GrassROOTS team all team members must understand and apply our guiding principles.
- Speak the truth at all times
- Develop authentic relationships with each other and give team members the benefit of the doubt
- If you make a mistake or error, be honest and accountable for your errors, apologize and seek to make correction immediately
- Keep accurate and complete record of program activities
- Manage your time wisely
- Maintain contact list including telephone numbers and email addresses and other pertinent information regarding program participants and their caregivers
- Ask for help when needed
- Be flexible and adapt to last-minute changes
- Open to offering and receiving critical and helpful feedback
- Present ideas and suggestions for improving program
- Be welcoming to all, especially new community, partners and team members
- Say thank you to all those who give of themselves to us
- Collaborate with team members, youth, partners and community members
- Develop and maintain a cooperative working relationship with community members and partners
- Assist with when needed; volunteer to help community member
- Maintain high and consistently positive energy
|Hours:||4-6 hours weekly; Days TBA
|Functions:||Lead and facilitate wellness sessions
Competitive/commensurate with experience. GCF is an equal opportunity employer (EEO/AA/M/F/D/V).
Women and people of color are encouraged to apply.
|Time sheets must be submitted bi-weekly.
Open until October 20, 2016 or until filled