Some people seem to find their calling early in life, finding their purpose as they help others in their communities. Carol Lewis, 2016 Community Youth Advocate of the Year award winner, has done just that, spending her career helping teens and youth realize a healthy, safe and happy existence. The award, presented by North Star Youth Partnership, has been honoring individuals for over a decade.
History with North Star Youth Partnership
“Carol has a long history of working with youth and helping them realize a healthy future,” says Diane DeLong, North Star Youth Partnership’s senior manager. “Carol has been working with me on the Teen Maze project since day one, and her dedication to this and other projects is unmatched.”
Helping Youth Live Healthy Lives
Lewis has worked for Yavapai County Community Health Services for 26 years, beginning as a nutrition education specialist, working several years for the Tobacco Education and Prevention Program as a health education and tobacco cessation specialist, and spending nine years as the community health education coordinator. This past July, Lewis was promoted to community health education section manager.
This past year Lewis realized a goal of hers to lead a community collaboration to create opportunities and provide resources for Yavapai County schools to empower their students to make the healthiest choices. “Carol works diligently to assure that community health education is effectively and efficiently delivered throughout Yavapai County, improving the health and wellness of everyone touched by her programs,” said Delong.
As part of her various roles with Yavapai County Community Health Services, Lewis has been instrumental in bringing the Teen Maze program to fruition, having been involved in the project since its inception in 1999.
North Star Youth Partnership’s Teen Maze is an interactive life-sized board game for teens which helps youth see the benefits or consequences of their choices. Teen Maze has three main areas of focus: a Health Track, which covers topics like nutrition, body image, STDs and teen pregnancy; a Substance Abuse Track, which focuses on the dangers of drinking and driving, tobacco use and illicit drugs; and a Positive Alternatives Track, which focuses on career advice, learning opportunities, and volunteerism.