The 2019 My LA2050 Grants Challenge has started!

Check out the entries

live / 2016

AMP! Virtual: Sexual Health Education for a Digital Generation

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Regents of the University of California

Give sex ed a new look, outside of the box and not in a book. Help AMP! UCLA help high school students get the facts so they can step up as advocates for their own sexual health decisions.


Please describe your project proposal.

AMP! simultaneously educates and inspires young people to make responsible health decisions by harnessing the transformative power of humor and courageous storytelling to create performances for teens that are memorable, inclusive, and FUN. Ninth grade is the last year LAUSD delivers sexual health education. There are approximately 60,000 ninth graders in LAUSD. An AMP! digital platform would allow us to reach them by providing an accessible, updated resource to all LAUSD health teachers.

Which of the live metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Healthcare access
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Resilient communities
  • Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • LAUSD

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to live?

With more new cases of HIV diagnosed among teens and young adults than any other age group, the need for youth-focused sexual health education, including HIV/AIDS education, has been recognized by LAUSD and the U.S. CDC. Through a partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District HIV/AIDS Prevention Unit the UCLA Art & Global Health Center is creating accessible and engaging curriculum and delivery to address Los Angeles’ increasing demand for updated and relevant sexual education. AMP! (Arts-based, Multiple-Component, Peer Education) provides young people with crucial information in a novel way—simultaneously educating and inspiring them to make responsible sexual health decisions. AMP! utilizes original performance created by Sex Squads (made up of undergraduate college students) to increase high school students’ knowledge about HIV/AIDS and STIs, with treatment of additional topics such as healthy communication, consent, self-esteem, gender, sexuality, domestic violence and pregnancy prevention.

AMP! and the Sex Squads are at the forefront of improving sexual health education. In addition to live and digital interventions, AMP! has inspired the creation of youth-led High School Sex Squads at four LAUSD high schools, with more in development. Crucial to their approach is harnessing the transformative power of humor and courageous storytelling to create performances for teens that are memorable, inclusive, and FUN.

While high school students and health teachers in select LAUSD schools currently benefit from the live version of AMP!, many more can be reached by widening the program’s delivery system to include a digital platform. This platform includes digital content created by the UCLA Sex Squad; program manuals; sexual health resources; and step-by-step art-making activities and workshops that invite youth to engage in conversations and respond to the works created by the UCLA Sex Squad.

Founded in 2006, UCLA Art & Global Health Center has been harnessing the power of the arts to improve public health in Los Angeles. The Center is a think tank specializing in reinventing sexual health education, devising new methods for HIV stigma reduction, reinforcing human empowerment, and catalyzing behavior change. Our initiatives blend community engagement with arts activist training and rigorous research. A digital platform to increase the capacity of AMP! to reach high school students (and health educators) will improve future health and lifestyle choices for Los Angeles by providing our youth with knowledge and information so they can make the best possible decisions for their own sexual health. This platform will have considerable impact over many years with minimal maintenance and updates. The digital content will be expanded and updated every other year as the UCLA Sex Squad continues to create more content. An investment in our young people is an investment in the future health of our entire city.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

One of the Art & Global Health Center’s key roles at UCLA is to facilitate research concerning arts-based methods for health communication. We strongly believe in evaluating our programmatic efforts to be able to measure reach and impact.

For evaluating the proposed digital platform and community-level activities we will design an evaluation survey that centers around quantitative evaluation of numbers served, user demographic information, frequency of use, and components used. We will create a targeted qualitative evaluation using surveys and focus groups to explore how the platform impacts, enhances and improves sexual health education information synthesis and retention.

Through surveys, focus groups and social media-based feedback we will design ways to measure the following indicators of success:

  • We will gauge interest in users to participate in a future comprehensive training program for AMP! facilitators to prepare them to mentor, lead, and open up vital conversations concerning sexual health.
  • We will seek evidence of a growing recognition for AMP! as a model program for arts-based HIV/AIDS prevention, stigma reduction, and comprehensive sexual health education for youth in Los Angeles, California and beyond.
  • We will work with community-based partners and school clinics to promote HIV/STI testing and reduce number of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in Los Angeles communities.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Education/training
  • Network/relationship support