The BEST Initiative is housed in the Training and Capacity Building (TCB) department at HRiA. TCB offers different services besides The BEST Initiative. We are experts in the facilitation of meetings, strategic planning processes, retreats, event planning, etc. We offer a variety of consultative services, including training, on topics such as:
- Peer Leadership
- Violence, Tobacco, Substance Abuse and STI Prevention
- Tutor Training
- Coalition Building
- Organizational Development
- Leadership Development
- Project Management
- Working with Boards and Committees
- Volunteer Recruitment and Management
We also coordinate two other programs that promote youth and leadership development:
The 84 is a statewide, youth tobacco prevention movement funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Through this program, HRiA distributes youth mini-grants that promote local activism and policy change, coordinates statewide gatherings and contests, provides trainings, and manages an interactive web site specifically for young people, The 84. The site actively engages 84% of youth in Massachusetts who do not use tobacco and aims to push that number higher!
Peer Leadership Training Programs
Peer leaders are young people who commit to working toward increased health and safety for other youth within their community. TCB has provided Peer Leadership Training for hundreds of youth programs in the Boston area. These trainings typically focus on public health topics such as preventing tobacco use or violence, and help youth build leadership and outreach skills as well as personal confidence.
In addition to training peer leaders, TCB also coordinates its own peer leadership program called Healthy Girls, Healthy Women. The young women who participate in this program are trained as peer leaders to promote positive nutritional and physical activity habits for girls living in Boston neighborhoods with high rates of obesity. They also focus on building healthy relationships and positive body image.