Engaging Youth – La Rodadora
Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico
The goal of the Health Foundation’s IGNITE Initiative is to improve a range of health outcomes by engaging disconnected youth in high quality programs during out of school hours. The Health Foundation refers to “disconnected youth” as individuals between the ages of 7-18 who are not involved in out of school activities or participating in the labor market. Evidence indicates that youth who are involved are less likely to use drugs, alcohol, or participate in criminal activity.
La Rodadora is the only interactive museum in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and the largest museum in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico and El Paso, Texas. Through their RODIS Jr. program supported by the Health Foundation, disconnected youth were recruited and trained to be museum guides.
Participants learn museum operations and how to guide children and families through museum exhibits. They also receive encouragement through mentoring on how to pursue an education and obtain a professional degree.
More than 250 disconnected youth have completed the three-month program and the museum continues receiving applications for future trainings. This program has shown positive outcomes for not only the youth, but the museum and the community overall.
Rodis Jr. helps the participants strive educationally and socially, which seeks to transform them into agents of change to find their social identity within the community.
"La Rodadora engages disconnected young people from high school into an extracurricular training program, where they learn about art, science and technology, with the aim of strengthening their life skills, which in turn seeks to keep them away from potentially harmful activities for their health and development." - Ehudy Escobar, Instructional Relations Coordinator, La Rodadora Museum.
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