CHIPS is committed to the complex needs of young people, particularly minorities and those disadvantaged by poverty, to achieve their full potential as individuals and to pursue healthy and productive lives. CLUB CHIPS - Community Youth Leaders United for Better Health is a year around youth leadership development and performing arts program that trains high school students to use artistic expression to promote awareness of health and wellness issues, increase health literacy and promote healthy lifestyles. CLUB CHIPS uses outlets such as journal writing, drawing/fabric painting, movement and improvisation as a basis for a deeper exploration of and consequences of issues that confront young people today.
Teens express themselves through theatre and these programs are inventive and effective ways to talk about difficult subjects.
Children and teens in CHIPS’ primary service area are at greater risk than young people living elsewhere in St. Louis and the State of Missouri and they face challenges that are unique to these urban neighborhoods. Violent crimes occur more often in zip code 63106, where CHIPS is located, and in the surrounding zip codes 63107 and 63113, than elsewhere in the city. These three zip codes also have the highest rates of STD infections and teen pregnancy in the metropolitan area. 40.9% of the adults in this area did not complete high school or get a GED. Consequently, the area has high rates of poverty and unemployment.
The CLUB CHIPS after school and summer program trains 8 to 10 Peer Health Educators a year who present their original creative health education plays, vignettes and workshops to audiences of several hundred children and adults per year. CLUB CHIPS programs have been presented to over 13,000 inidivduals since its inception in 2001.
The CLUB CHIPS model of using creative writing, movement, visual art, music and theatre to increase awareness of health and wellness issues among school children and adults is a very successful method for increasing health literacy and promoting healthy lifestyles, while developing an appreciation for the performance arts.
Researchers have found that the arts teach young people responsibility, teamwork, discipline, communication skills and helps them realize their full potential as productive citizens. In addition, peer education is an effective method of communicating valuable and sensitive health information to young people.
Talented, energetic youth between ages 14 and 18 audition to become part of the CLUB CHIPS program. The teens receive a stipend and for many, it is their first employment experience and an opportunity to help their families financially.
Meet the Current CLUB CHIPPERS
Ryan Young is 18 years old and the senior leader for CLUB CHIPS. He has been a member of CHIPS for four years now. “In my commitment to the program, I am proud to be able to provide teens with vital information that will help them in the end.” Ryan aspires to be an ER physician.
Antonio Mosley is 16 years old and a junior at Grand Center Arts Academy. “I love CHIPS because it feels like a family when we’re at work. And the fact that we can learn health care and spread the word to other teens makes me feel like I’m doing something great with my life. I love to make films, write poetry, and act as my main career in life.”
Jaylen is 15 years old and a sophomore at Grand Center Arts Academy. “I love working at CHIPS because I love teaching through the arts and learning new health information. Plus I love performing for anyone and everyone!”
Deja Williams is 14 years old and a freshman at Metro High School. “I love to sing, and perform which is a big reason as to why I joined CLUB CHIPS! It’s fun to educate people about the dangers of different life hardships while doing what I love at the same time.”
Benjamin Hayes is 17 years old and a senior at Saint Louis University High. This is his first year with CLUB CHIPS. He also runs track and field and enjoys reading.
Karmel Brewer is 14 years old and a sophomore at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School. He enjoys running on his off time but does many sports like: football, soccer, basketball, cross country and his all time favorite, track and field. Kar’Mel has been a part of CLUB CHIPS since June 2014 and has been a part of many performances with CHIPS now. He also did a short play with his school and loves the arts. “I am very glad and lucky to have joined CLUB CHIPS!”
Hadiya Arnold is 16 years old and is a junior at Gateway Stem High School. “Joining CLUB CHIPS has been a phenomenal time. I volunteered with this program because it had the branches of studies that I enjoy: dance, acting, music and drama! I use those branches to spread the word of health care to teens everywhere. My personality is fierce, goofy, feisty and hippie. I work as a dancer and actress for a company. My main major is to succeed in brain surgery.”
Francisco Mayo is 14 years old and a freshman at University City High School. He has been a part of CLUB CHIPS since July 2014. “I am in CLUB CHIPS mainly for the arts aspect!”
Marshay Hill is 18 years old and attends Upper Iowa University where she is studying mass communication. “I like CHIPS because you’re able to reach out to other people with information and also we come together as a family.” She was a part of CLUB CHIPS the summer of 2014.
CLUB CHIPS is partially sponsored by:
"The funding of this project was financed in part through a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Community Development Administration under the provision of Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (Pub L, 93-383 42 USC 5301 et seq.) and/or HOME Title II of the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990, as amended (Public law 101-625)."
Greater St. Louis…Auxiliary