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The Youth Project of the UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health (LOSH) Program
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MAKING A DIFFERENCE: YOUTH LEARN HOW TO BECOME RESOURCES ON JOB RIGHTS/ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN THEIR COMMUNITY >>

Photo: Youth Project - UCLA LOSH

"I didn’t know we could actually make a difference, like in a community, like
they’re doing at the X School. It’s like a group of people just getting together and working for something that they know is wrong and trying to change something they know is wrong…"

"Youth voices can be heard; now I know I can give back to the community."

These are some of the voices of those who have participated recently in the Youth Project of the UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health (LOSH) Program. Over the past 6 years, LOSH has been working with students and teachers at several high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Together they have created 2 curricula, one on job rights for working teens, "Safe Jobs for Youth (SJFY)" and the other concerns community environmental justice issues, "Healthy Communities (HC)." After going through the 2-week unit of SJFY, teens also participated in the pilot of a Peer Education Unit, which includes a practicum where they co-teach SJFY to 9th graders in the mandated Life Skills for the 21st Century classes. Those students who participated in the pilot of the Youth Leadership Unit became interns in community-based organizations that were working on environmental justice issues in their neighborhoods.

The "Safe Jobs for Youth" unit (10 class sessions) and "Healthy Communities" unit (five class sessions) are designed for use anywhere in the U.S. We are currently finalizing a semester-long curriculum which includes the completed two SJFY and HC units, a Peer Education unit, Youth Leadership Unit, and an Introduction and Conclusion. These new units can be implemented individually or as an entire semester-long curriculum. This curriculum works well in service learning classes and will be available this summer. For more information on our curricula and how to obtain copies online or at cost, you can go to our web site at www.losh.ucla.edu, or contact Youth Project Director Laurie Kominski at lauriek@ucla.edu.

May is "Safe Jobs For Youth" month, so designated by Governor Gray Davis since 1998. Every six minutes somewhere in the U.S. a working teen is injured seriously enough to go to a hospital or emergency room. Work-based learning is an integral part of many teens’ education and we want to do our part to make sure their work is safe. Teachers, work experience educators, other school personnel, community organizations and job training programs can play an important role in introducing teens to these issues and helping to prevent these injuries.

"Safe Jobs For Youth" month is supported by the California Partnership for Young Workers' Health and Safety, a state-wide working group representing government agencies, educators, parents, employers, job trainers, labor unions and others including UCLA-LOSH. This group also sponsors a Young Workers Health and Safety website, www.youngworkers.org. If you would like a Safe Jobs for Youth Month Resource Kit which includes a poster and lesson plan on this topic, contact LOSH Youth Project Director Laurie Kominski at lauriek@ucla.edu.

Click here to read some of the comments from the youth about the impact of this curriculum on their lives.

Also, take a look at:

Interview with Marianne Brown & Laurie Kominski
Promoters of "Safe Jobs for Youth" and "Healthy Communities" curricula.

Interviews with Nancy Morales & Juan García
Two Peer Educators for "Safe Jobs for Youth" and "Healthy Communities"

School in the Middle: Teens take on toxics (comic cover) Read the UCLA - Labor Occupational Safety and Health (LOSH) Program's educational comic book School in the Middle: Teens take on Toxics.

in English (1.2 MB)

en español (1.2 MB)

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