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PhD Student Brings FOXY to Arctic Families

23 JAN 2015
Career Path : Education News

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Two U of T students have used their PhD research to help youth who are living in the Northern areas of Canada. As students at the U of T Dalla Lana School of Public Health, graduates Candice Lys and Nancy MacNeill created an arts-based sexual health program for young women living in the North – where there is often little access to sexual health education and clinics. As northerners themselves, Lys and MacNeill have experienced firsthand the poorly managed sexual health education in places like the Northwest Territories.

What is arts-based sexual health exactly? Lys and MacNeill say it involves sexual workshops which tackle issues like teen pregnancy and healthy relationships using bead work, music, photography and digital storytelling. 40 workshops have already been hosted, to overwhelming support from the Northern communities.

Due to the success and innovation of the program, FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth) won the $1-million Arctic Inspiration Prize – a program which funds projects which are working to develop the North. Since the three years the program has existed, the money has been traditionally divided between several projects. It is the first year a project has been granted the entire award money.

Source: CBC