Dr. Nicole Vaughn, assistant professor in the department of health management and policy at the Drexel University School of Public Health, designed “Keep Good Company: Good Friends Matter,” a youth antiviolence advertising campaign in collaboration with the Philadelphia Collaborative Violence Prevention Center (PCVPC). The ads aim to raise awareness about youth violence, which is the second leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24. The campaign, which was created by Dr. Vaughn, PCVPC staff and local youth, integrates evidence-based research and results from focus groups.
The campaign features two cartoon teenagers, Briana and Damon, who appear in advertisements currently posted aboard SEPTA Market-Frankford line trains and in a series of animated videos which will be posted on a Facebook account created in their names.
Designed to appeal to and engage Philadelphia youth, the messages passed along by the pair include the importance of choosing healthy friendships and spending time with peers who make positive contributions in school and in the community. Parents are also reminded to know the people with whom their children are spending leisure time. The ads will appear on the city’s subway system through April 1. The social media component of the campaign is slated to start shortly.
As a research health psychologist with a focus on health disparities reduction, Dr. Vaughn has education, training, and experience in community-based research with ethnic minority groups. Her research interests include a focus on community-based approaches to eliminating health disparities, health care access and utilization among insured and uninsured minority groups, obesity and overweight, maternal and child health and the influence of culture on health behaviors particularly for chronic conditions. Dr. Vaughn received her master’s and doctorate in medical psychology from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.
PCVPC is committed to Community-Based Participatory Research. In each project, the organization’s academic partners, center partners, community members, and community organizations are involved in every phase of the research. Its work is designed to enhance the capacity for community members and community-based organizations of West and Southwest Philadelphia to engage in youth violence prevention efforts and to reduce the negative impacts of violence.
[Photo: One of the advertisements Dr. Vaughn designed as part of the “Keep Good Company: Good Friends Matter,” a youth antiviolence advertising campaign.]