Catalyst - FALL 2021 VOL 4 NO 2 - Page 4



How have your community impact methods evolved since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of 2020? What are some ways in which you’ve shifted your usual method of operations?

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges for so many families created by economic strain, social isolation, and disruptions to normal daily life. The stress, fear, and uncertainty brought on by this crisis are challenging for everyone, but adolescents may have an especially difficult time coping. Moreover, adolescents from racial and ethnic minority, rural and socially vulnerable communities are disproportionately at risk. The impact of stress, trauma, and isolation from COVID-19 on teens in these communities is more severe due to existing social inequities and health disparities.

To meet the heightened needs for youth, GCAPP effectively pivoted our program offerings and operations to remain a steadfast resource for educators, youth-serving professionals, parents, and young people across Georgia.

This includes digitizing our adolescent health training and programs and increasing our communication of critical health resources to all our stakeholders on a weekly basis. We have also leverage technology for the innovative use of google classrooms to offer virtual “office hours” to teachers in need of programmatic and technical support to implement adolescent health curricula. Our team has also become skilled users of digital tools to reach our audience. Leveraging our online platforms, we successfully launched a Webinar Wednesday series in 2020, which continues today, to provide a safe space for discussions around the coronavirus pandemic, racial justice movement, and sexual, physical and emotional well-being.

How did the social and racial justice movement of Summer 2020 affect GCAPP’s approach to serving your community?

The Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential (GCAPP) believes that all children are entitled to a safe and healthy adolescence characterized by hope, respect, and opportunity for a productive future. Every aspect of our vision — safety, health, hope, respect, opportunity — is challenged and undermined by chronic racism, abuse, and discrimination. We cannot allow these conditions to continue.

As a nation we were confronted with so much racial strife and