Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Awards EIA

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Awards

2015 Community Health Grant to Education in Action for
Young Star ACTIVE-ists

$15,000 BlueAngel grant will teach youth to develop health and wellness solutions


PROVIDENCE, RI (January XX, 2015) – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is awarding one of six 2015 BlueAngel Community Health Grants (BACHG) to Education in Action for their Young Star ACTIVE-ists, an enhancement to their program Young Star Entrepreneurs program, that will educate local middle school students about nutrition and obesity issues, and teach them how to create solutions for the health and wellness challenges facing their peers. The program is part of the afterschool programming offered  by Education in Action, and will include youth from the Cranston, Pawtucket, Central Falls and West Warwick communities.

Young Star ACTIVE-ists is unique in its focus on teaching entrepreneurship and advocacy skills to empower youth to develop their own solutions to health issues in their communities. During the 11-week session, students will tackle challenges around nutrition and obesity through three phases: research, learning, and solution. Once participants identify their solutions, they will build business plans around their ideas that include budgets, marketing plans, and materials. Through a culmination event, students will have the opportunity to present their ideas and business plans to an audience.

The costs of childhood obesity are real: if the average body mass index in Rhode Island was reduced by five percent it could lead to health care savings of more than $850 million in 10 years and $2 billion in 20 years. Healthcare stakeholders and nonprofits are working together to create healthier environments for Rhode Island’s children in an effort to reduce the impact of the epidemic. For the second year in a row, the BlueAngel Community Health Grant program will focus on this critical issue. This year, six new grants and three transitional grants totaling $319,000 will be awarded to 2014 BACHG recipients.

“BCBSRI is proud to support through its BACHG community organizations that have made a real impact in Rhode Island,” said Michele Lederberg, chief administrative officer and general counsel for BCBSRI. “The Young Star ACTIVE-ists program engages the next generation in critical health issues, while also giving them the confidence that they have the power and ideas to solve problems in their communities. We’re proud to play a part in helping great programs, like this one, come to life.”


Education in Action was founded in 2008 and has served nearly 14,000 greater Rhode Island youth. Its mission is to provide hands-on learning opportunities that educate and inspire youth for real-world success. Education in Action provides a state-of-the-art educational facility where students can truly experience the joy of learning.


The BACHG program awards local organizations that teach and support healthy habits, from better nutrition to increased physical activity. BCBSRI accepts and reviews proposals for the BACHG program once a year. Each letter of intent received is reviewed to determine compliance with eligibility and funding priorities. Grant award winners were notified in December 2014 with funding to begin in January 2015.

About the BACHG Program

The BACHG program was launched in 2002 and has touched the lives of more than 244,000 people in the state. The program is a key component in BCBSRI’s vision of enhancing the quality of life for Rhode Islanders by increasing the quality of and access to healthcare services. The BACHGs are made possible by the BCBSRI Community Health Fund, a corporate donor-advised fund of The Rhode Island Foundation.


Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state’s leading health insurer and covers more than 550,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI, and like us on Facebook at