Document Type

Capstone Project (Campus-Only Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Health, Human Services and Public Policy


CHHS, Social Work


United Way of Santa Cruz Jovenes Sanos (JS) program focuses on providing youth leadership and youth voices to shift current stigmas around mental health. The program reaches this goal by helping youth increase access to mental health resources and cultivating peer-to-peer connections within Santa Cruz County, specifically with the youth of Watsonville, California. The main problem focus for the project, Cultivating Hope, is a deficiency of mental health awareness within society. The project addressed the need for peer-to-peer connections and supportive resources. For that purpose, the project hoped to bring peers together and implement conversations around mental health awareness. From the project, the program was also expected to create a safe space where youth felt motivated to focus on their self-care. As a result, the project proved to meet the expectations; the youth participants shared positive feedback to their experiences. In continuing to host events like Cultivating Hope, it is important for JS to continue working towards more related events and group discussions that will allow youth to feel connected with their peers and leaders of their community.

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