Teen Leadership

Teen leadership for public health and cancer prevention

Dartmouth undergraduates staff the Fuerza para el Futuro (Force for the Future) teen leadership program in rural Honduras. Annually, 50 teens from families of subsistence farmers participate in a weeklong program about leadership skills and activism in public health.

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Fuerza members with Dartmouth alumni leader Jules Ortego
Pictured here are the oldest Fuerza members with Dartmouth alumni leader Jules Ortego.

Over the last decade in collaboration with Norris Cotton Cancer Center, they have learned about and circulated through communities to share cancer prevention information about HPV and cervical cancer, preventing family exposure to cancer-causing agricultural chemicals, and oral health.

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Example of Fuerza concepts for educational posters
An example of a Fuerza concept for educational posters that explain how to prevent danger from exposure to agricultural chemicals.

With organizational assistance from the Dartmouth students, their outreach methods have included poster sessions, developing skits and taking them on the road to remote villages, and creating handmade pamphlets.

When the Cancer Center is involved in large-scale screening programs, the Fuerza para el Futuro members are key volunteers.