Collections > Master's Papers > Gillings School of Public Health > El Pueblo, Inc.: Strengthening El Pueblo's Sexual and Reproductive Health Program for Latino/a Youth in North Carolina

Background: Latinos/as in the United States face significant sexual and reproductive health (SRH) disparities; the rapidly growing Latino/a population in Wake County, North Carolina is no exception. El Pueblo, Inc. is a nonprofit agency that aims to bridge the gap between the needs of the Latino/a community and available resources in Wake County. One way in which El Pueblo achieves this is through a youth SRH education program called Nuestros Derechos sin Fronteras (DsF), or Our Rights Have No Borders. During the 2011-2012 academic year, a Capstone team from the Health Behavior Department at the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health partnered with El Pueblo to complete a project aimed at strengthening the DsF program. Methods: The Capstone team conducted informal community engagement and formal assessment activities, including 15 in-depth interviews with El Pueblo staff and four focus groups with youth who have participated in DsF, and their parents. The Capstone team conducted a qualitative analysis of interview and focus group summary reports, the results of which were used to develop four major deliverables aimed at strengthening the DsF program. The Capstone team additionally conducted a literature review and resource scan to supplement engagement and assessment findings. Results: The results from community engagement emphasized the key factors of upmost importance to the Latino/a community and El Pueblo; these included cultural values, structural discrimination against immigrants, and bi-cultural and generational challenges for Latino/a youth. The results from assessment activities provided direct feedback regarding the DsF program; findings included an emphasis on funding and evaluation challenges, the importance of holistic SRH education for Latino/a youth, an increased need for synergy across El Pueblo programs, and an emphasis on male involvement. Sustainability findings place an emphasis on institutionalization of DsF within El Pueblo and capacity building for program continuation. These findings were all addressed through the four deliverables produced by the Capstone team. Discussion: The Capstone project's findings and subsequent deliverables add value to El Pueblo's SRH programming and provide significant benefits to Latino/a youth in North Carolina. These deliverables will lead to improved knowledge and skills among youth participants, and enhanced program sustainability, which will ultimately lead to improved SRH outcomes for Latino/a youth in North Carolina. Specific limitations and challenges are acknowledged, and are accompanied by recommendations regarding the use of project deliverables and next steps in order to ensure that maximum benefits are achieved.