Health Advocacy and SES – “We Are the Change” Project

How can we, as responsible citizens of Wyandotte County, improve socio-economic and health outcomes in our community?


This project is the third phase of the school-based “Change project”. Phase One elevated student voice, while Phase Two helped students understand how their community works, build social capital and a network of connection to help them address the needs of the community. “We Are the Change” focuses on the addressing underlying factors that significantly contribute to the health disparities by understanding the social determinants of health, conducting a community needs assessment, and implementing a community intervention based on the needs assessment (i.e. health fair and job fair).

Ed Franco

Ed Franco

Economics Teacher, Schlagle High School


The Main Objectives of this unit are:

  • Conduct and analyze a community needs assessment based on the social determinants of health
  • Lead panel and roundtable discussions to elicit community expert feedback
  • Implement an intervention (health fair and job fair) to address needs.

This lesson provides students with the background on the health condition of Wyandotte County based on the H.E.A.T Report conducted by the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Ohio State University.  With this background information, students will be equipped with the appropriate knowledge of the socioeconomic factors that influence health disparities in our community.

Students will:

  1. Define and familiarize students with the following terms: Health determinants, Disparity, Socioeconomic, and Health disparities.
  2. Identify factors that affect a Wyandotte resident’s health.
  3. Rank and explain different socioeconomic factors can affect the health of an individual.

This lesson provides a deeper analysis on the socioeconomic factors that affect health and contribute to health disparity in the community. Moreover, students will make connections between the macroeconomic fundamentals such as unemployment, prices and income to the socioeconomic factors that affect health.

Students Will:

1. Identify and determine how socioeconomic factors can affect health
2. Connect socioeconomic factors to larger macroeconomic factors that impact health
3. Conclude (based on the information from the “Unnatural Causes” video) how health disparities are a prevalent issue in the community

This lesson provides students with the knowledge on the steps to conduct a Needs Assessment as well as the importance of assessing the needs of an organization or the community. The needs assessment’s goal is to determine the need to have a job and health fair at Schlagle High School.

Students Will:

1. Learn about the importance of and proper implementation of a survey
2. What “Needs Assessment” is and how it can serve as a base for conducting surveys
3. The best way to analyze a set of data and find patterns

This lesson provides students with the knowledge on the different types of advertisements and how ads influence our consumption and buying decisions. With this knowledge, students will then make connections between ads and promoting healthy choices and employment opportunities.

Students Will:

1. Learn how advertisements can greatly influence our spending and consumption habits
2. What makes a particular ad effective or ineffective and how to market to an audience
3. Define and familiarize students with the following terms: Health Disparity, Socioeconomic Determinants of Health, Employment, Unemployment, Advertisement, and Consumerism

This lesson provides students a framework on how to prepare for their project presentation as well as the avenue to present their sample project.

Students Will:

1. Learn about the effective ways of presenting information to an audience or panel
2. How to respond effectively to questions posed about their projects/ads
3. The ability to draw connections between abstract concepts (macro/microeconomics) and concrete outcomes (heath disparities and lack of jobs