Document Type


Publication Date


Academic Year



Introduction: The East North Philadelphia community contains the city’s largest Latino population, most of whom are of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent. This community in particular has unique health needs compared to the rest of the city of Philadelphia, with rates of diabetes (22.9%), asthma (28.6%), and poverty (45.5%) exceeding the national and city averages. Documenting the perceived needs of the children living here regarding their built environment will provide insight into the problems onto which the community at large needs to focus. This study aims to determine the priority needs of the community and to empower the youth to engage with and advocate for their community through photography.

Methods: “PhotoVoice” projects were completed with adolescent Latino community members throughout 5 zip codes to survey the self-identified needs of the community regarding their collective health. Interviewers asked participants “what about [their] community helps or hurts their health?”, and the responses were transcribed and coded by multiple researchers to insure inter-rater reliability.

Results: A thematic analysis was completed by both participants and researchers, which resulted in a list of top needs, most notably “Mental Health”, “Trauma, Safety and Violence”, “Built Environment”, and “Health Education and Health Behavior”.

Conclusion: This data will be used in future advocacy work to help alleviate the burdens described by the East North Philadelphia Latino youth community.