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Center for Adolescent Health

Center for Adolescent Health Blog

Date: Nov 2018

An amazing group of young people from Baltimore City serve on a Youth Advisory Board (YAB) that provides guidance to the Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health (CAH) and the Risks to Adolescent Health focus area of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. YAB members range in age; most are in high school, college, or the workforce. The YAB meets regularly - usually every two weeks - to give their input on issues central to the mission of CAH and the Initiative. YAB members take an active role in developing projects in partnership with CAH and the Initiative and in disseminating findings to stakeholders in the community.

We want to spotlight the talents and achievements of the YAB and their commitment to promoting the health and well being of adolescents in Baltimore. This inaugural Youth Advisory Board Spotlight features Jerome Waters.

Jerome's Humble Beast Movement 

Jerome Waters

Jerome, 17, is a senior at Franklin High School in Baltimore County. He is the founder of Humble Beast Movement, a clothing brand and music label. Building his business is only one part of what makes Jerome tick. As a graduate of Joni Holifield’s HeartSmiles Entrepreneurship Program, he’s also passionate about youth advocacy and supporting his peers. Jerome was recently awarded a $20,000 grant through the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund to launch an after school program in which he will train middle and high school students in music production and entrepreneurial skills. He recently chatted with Lauren Burns, the Center’s communications specialist, and discussed his commitment to youth development, business, and giving back.

Lauren: How did you decide to apply for a grant through the Youth Fund?

Jerome: I wanted to do something for the youth, because I'm already involved in a lot of youth and community work. I came up with the idea of a project that helps youth express themselves through music and create revenue for themselves through that music. I needed something to help me push this project further so that's why I applied for the grant.

Lauren: When will the program start? What will the students be doing?

Jerome: Right now, they're learning the earning basic foundations of business through Ms. Joni [Holifield]’s program HeartSmiles. They’ll transfer to my program in November, and they [will] actually learn how to run a fully operational state-of-the-art studio. They'll produce their own music, make their own music, and record themselves. Eventually, they'll graduate and move to booking other slots for other people, actually mixing and mastering their music as well.

Lauren: So it’s kind of like a production lab.

Jerome: Yeah, my [company] Humble Beast Movement is a label and management team.  I'm looking for new artists, new talent that can help my team out, and I can help them out as well.

Lauren: When did you become interested in youth and entrepreneurship?

Jerome: Well, since I was young I was always selling stuff, like just selling stuff in my house. Anything I could find. Like my old toys. I started to push myself more. And about a year and a half ago, I developed this whole brand--Humble Beast Movement-- this whole idea of being humble but being a beast, and that was like a whole movement, that kinda helped me see a difference in myself and the people around me. Once I really realized what being "humble" meant I started to see that other people wasn't humble. The people that I was hanging with, the friends that I had, the family that I was around, wasn't the right people to be around because they weren't humble.  It was kind of taking away from the whole idea of what I was trying to do.

Lauren: What does "humble" mean to you?

Jerome: It means you can be the best in the world at whatever you do, but never taking away anyone else's credit or trying to down somebody else, but uplifting them and helping them be better. That's my whole idea, that just being the best you can be, but helping other people do the same.

Lauren: How do you juggle all your responsibilities with Humble Beast Movement, launching your program, and work supporting HeartSmiles?

Jerome: I prioritize by the day. I never know what could pop up the next day, the next week, next month, or year. But I just stay ready for whatever comes my way. And then I just kinda keep positive people around me that keep me disciplined and motivated. Because I know that if something gets too hard, or something gets too stressful, the old me would have just gave up, quit, but now that I have powerful people that can help me go further, I can't.

Lauren: What are your plans for the future?

Jerome: I'm still looking at college. I want go to somewhere close, because I wanna be able to still run the [music production and entrepreneurship] program. I'm focused in on building a Humble Beast Movement to the next level, signing other artists, and being able to send them on tours. I got big dreams that I really want to accomplish.

 Phil LeafTamar Mendelson Beth Marshall Terri Powell Kristin Mmari

From top (left to right):  Phil Leaf, Tamar Mendelson, Beth Marshall, Terri Powell, Kristin Mmari

Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health faculty, staff and trainees are thrilled to present their work at the upcoming American Public Health Association Annual Conference in sunny San Diego, California (Nov. 10-14, 2018). We are excited to connect with our Prevention Research Center program colleagues and other public health professionals! 

Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health APHA 2018 Presentations

Monday, November 12, 2018

  1.  1:20 pm-1:40 pm | 3273.0 Patient and provider perspectives on group-based obstetrics care to reduce perinatal mood and anxiety disorders | CAH author: Tamar Mendelson 
  2. 2:00 pm-2:20 pm | 3273.0 Addressing Perinatal Depression Among Medicaid Recipients: An Analysis of Policy Opportunities | CAH author: Tamar Mendelson 

Tuesday, November 13

  1. 8:50 am-9:10 am | 4022.0 Exploring the Influence of Food Insecurity on Risky Behaviors among Opportunity Youth | CAH authors: Asari Offiong (trainee), Kristin Mmari, Tamar Mendelson
  2. 9:30 am-9:45 am | 4065.0 "We learn about sex after we get pregnant": Adolescent perspectives of sexual health education across Baltimore, MD | CAH authors: Terri Powell, Courtney Turner (former research assistant), McKane Sharff (trainee), Beth Marshall 
  3. 5:40 pm-6:00 pm | 4448.0 A multi-informant qualitative analysis of implementing an evidence-based intervention in Baltimore City Public Middle Schools | CAH authors: Terri Powell, Meghan Jo, Julian Owens (former trainee), Beth Marshall, Anne Smith (trainee), Asari Offiong (trainee), Phil Leaf 

Wednesday, November 14

  1. 9:30 am-9:50 am | 5047.0 Size Matters: Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Black Churches | CAH authors: Terri Powell, Keiana West (former intern), Courtney Turner

Israel Jurado, a student at University of California-Berkeley studying nutritional science, interned at the Center for Adolescent Health (CAH) over the summer under the direction of Dr. Terri Powell. As a California native, Jurado had to get used to the hot, humid weather typical to Baltimore summers as he dove into assessing the implementation quality of the Center's core research project. In November, Dr. Powell and colleagues will present a paper on based Jurado’s findings at the American Public Health Association 2018 Annual Meeting. Thank you for your hard work, Israel!

Israel Jurado

Reflections on a Summer in Baltimore

By Israel Jurado

This summer I was given the opportunity to participate in summer research relating to public health thanks to the Diversity Summer Internship Program and Health Careers Opportunities Program. I interned for the Center for Adolescent Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. I was provided with mentorship by Dr. Terri Powell who allowed me to work with her on her research study and learn more about the field of public health and research.

The project I took on related to the field of implementation science and my job was to assess factors relating to implementation quality of the LifeSkills Training intervention in Baltimore City public middle schools. LifeSkills Training (LST) is a skills-based cognitive behavioral prevention intervention for students in grades 6-8.  This project was developed to address the growing need for behavioral health interventions that tackle multiple health risk factors among Baltimore youth. After reviewing the numerous problem behaviors of Baltimore’s adolescents and the research on LST, Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools), the local health department, and behavioral health organizations decided to expand the delivery of LST in City Schools but also add modules explicitly focusing on sexual risks.

I assisted Dr. Powell by collecting fidelity logs completed by teachers, observation logs completed by CAH research staff, and reviewing principal interviews conducted before the intervention. Using SPSS statistical software to interpret the quantitative data and examining the principal interview transcripts, I was able to put together the information and present the findings to Dr. Powell and her team at the Center for Adolescent Health. With the guidance from Dr. Powell, I completed a research paper with our results, completed a research poster to present at Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Cultivating Future Scientists and Health Providers Symposium, and gave a presentation about the findings to the DSIP cohort and director at the Bloomberg School.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone again, in my cohort and mentors for this opportunity in expanding my experience in public health research. Coming in with a background in nutritional science, I took on the challenge being open to learning a different field of science I had no prior knowledge of and how I may relate to it in the future in my field of study. After finishing this summer research project, I now have an interest in learning more about the field of implementation science and applying it to nutrition public health interventions. I am thankful for Dr. Powell's guidance, kindness, insight on graduate school, and patience throughout this summer as all of this was a new experience for me. The staff at the Center for Adolescent Health were welcoming and supportive throughout my time there, and I will not forget this experience. I would recommend any future summer undergraduate intern to work with this team of amazing researchers.