“Healthy Tomorrows for Latina Teens”
This Salud America! pilot research project was a mid-course evaluation of a project called Healthy Tomorrows for Teens (HTT). It is a five-year (2007-2012), federally-funded obesity prevention and advocacy training program for adolescent girls. The program was implemented in New Britain High School, which has a large population of Puerto Rican students and is the largest high school in Connecticut. As part of HTT, Latina girls participate in nutritional counseling, YWCA fitness programs and community service learning and leadership projects. The mid-course evaluation assessed HTT strengths and weaknesses to support performance improvements and sustainability in Years 4-5 (emphasizing Latina teens’ participation in physical activity). To identify factors that promote or prevent consistent physical activity among Latina teens, we conducted nine focus groups with 36 teens and 40 parents (87 percent Latino). HTT staff also conducted three Photovoice sessions to assess the city of New Britain to identify barriers to physical activity.