FFF has identified high-promise minority youth ages 12-24 as key actors in our TOC. California was the first state to use “high promise youth” as a better way of describing young people whose opportunities for academic and employment success are at risk.
As school-based health education programs have historically empowered youth to have better skills for undertaking informed health actions, FFF seeks to use curriculum coupled with workforce development strategies to build literacy in eye-health and BVI disability needs.
The amplification and impact of training children to be community eye champions has been documented by Eye Heroes, a nonprofit in the UK. Between 2015 and 2020, over 6,000 school children benefited from their eye health training and nearly 22,000 people attended sight tests as a direct result.
Key strengths of this approach include the fact that health awareness is raised in the community while workshops directly educate a future generation and promote enhanced eye health literacy. Additional outcomes include establishing positive habits from an early age to enable higher access to primary eye care services.
Thus, engaging young people helps to build longevity and broader conversations about eye health within families and communities. Mounting evidence suggests that designing interventions for vision loss and other public-health crises requires community voice, support, and participation to achieve sustainable long-term results. Given that each URM community struggles with different eye-health issues, it is also critical to engage key community stakeholders from different socio-economic groups.