BTG Hope

"The BTG Program provides needed resources to the many thousands of community-based organizations that are working to create a more socially just and compassionate world. Because of their support, many nonprofits are able to reach and enrich the lives of many more people."
BTG Community Preceptor

Philadelphia Consortium Projects

Adolescents & Young Adults

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Building a Healthier Generation by Educating Our Future

Student Intern(s):
Tawanna Davis, La Salle University, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Nursing Program
Sonia Solomon, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptor(s):
Shelley Johnson, RN, MS, La Salle University, School of Nursing and Health Sciences
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Kristin Quigley, Columbia North YMCA

The Community Site: 
Located in North Philadelphia, the Columbia North YMCA offers a wide range of programs including a summer day camp for children aged 3 to 17. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity; Mental Health
Focus Areas:  Access to Quality Health Services; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Sonia and Tawanna organized and implemented a health promotion and disease education program that was integrated into the summer camp curriculum for children aged 4 to 14. The program focused on cardiovascular health, oral health, nutrition and obesity, self-esteem, germs, and personal hygiene. The interns created games and activities to engage the children’s interest, including assisting in designing Heart Smart posters, organizing relay races, cooking nutritious meals and having the youth create commercials. Sonia and Tawanna also developed brochures designed to raise parents’ awareness of the importance of oral health, including resources on access to quality health services. Tawanna commented, “From this experience, I will overvalue communication in my practice as a future health care professional in order to better understand the patient’s medical attention from both a physical and mental perspective.”  Sonia remarked, “Any attempts for preventative medicine begin with forming relationships with the community, learning what they know and need to learn. …  Although we would love to have a huge impact instantaneously, BTG has taught me that differences within a community are made beginning with each individual.”

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It Starts With YOU

Student Intern(s):
Lilyan Chirayath, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Domenic D’Alessandro, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Doctor of Pharmacy

Academic Preceptor(s):
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Ruth L. Schemm, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

Community Preceptor(s):
Paulette Copeland-Bolton, Lee Cultural Center

The Community Site: 
The Lee Cultural Center, located in West Philadelphia, provides a summer day camp for youth between the ages of 5 and 13.

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Injury and Violence; Physical Activity; Substance Abuse
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Heart Disease and Stroke; Injury and Violence Prevention; Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Domenic and Lily assisted the staff of the Lee Cultural Center in providing a summer day camp for community youth. The summer program included a healthy lifestyle curriculum that addressed cardiovascular health, nutrition, exercise, substance abuse prevention and other topics. The interns assisted the staff in activities such as swimming and games and in a reading program. Lilyan said, “BTG has given me an honest and unique perspective at the worth of a child’s education— both at school and on the playground. BTG has taught me that patience and perseverance are necessary to tap into a child’s motivation and crucial to establishing good communication with each child.”  Domenic remarked, “Lily and I implemented reading whenever possible and stressed the power of education. We want the kids to know that their future starts with them.  No matter what kind of environment or living situation you come from, your dreams can be attained.”

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Celebrating Life With Healthy Habits

Student Intern(s):
Jaanki Patel, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Masters in Occupational Therapy Program
Megan Vorass, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptor(s):
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Ruth L. Schemm, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

Community Preceptor(s):
Brian C. Weaver, Haddington Townhouses, Summer Youth Enrichment Program

The Community Site: 
Haddington Townhouses, located in West Philadelphia, offers a Summer Youth Enrichment Program for children aged 7 to 12. The program is mainly for children who reside in the townhouses, but also includes children from the surrounding neighborhood.

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Injury and Violence; Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Food Safety; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness; Substance Abuse

The Project:
Jaanki and Megan organized educational and recreational field trips for 25 children aged 7 to 12 at the Haddington Townhouses Summer Youth Enrichment Program. The interns incorporated a health education component into the field trips, focusing on nutrition, cardiovascular health, oral health, physical fitness, resisting negative peer pressure, and violence prevention.  The field trips also provided the children with the opportunity to experience different cultures and environments. Jaanki said, “My experience this summer working with the youth has taught me to be open to new ideas, be creative, and have patience. The youth summer program at Haddington Townhouses has made a huge impact on taking the time to get a better understanding of the people and community of West Philadelphia.” Megan reported,  “Healthy eating starts in the home and it’s important to have the children’s role models and parents modeling the healthy eating in order for it to make a difference.”

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Video Snapshots: Promoting Engagement Through Memories of Day Camp

Student Intern(s):
Andrew Hoff, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Masters in Occupational Therapy Program
Amber Majid, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptor(s):
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Ruth L. Schemm, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

Community Preceptor(s):
Kevin Cox, West Poplar Apartments, Community Center
George Riley, West Poplar Apartments, Community Center

The Community Site: 
West Poplar Apartments, located in North Philadelphia, provides a summer enrichment program for youth. Through community field trips and weekly projects, the children learn about healthy lifestyle choices and alternatives to violence.

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Physical Activity; Overweight and Obesity; Environmental Quality
Focus Areas:  Education and Community-Based Programs; Health Communication; Physical Activity and Fitness; Nutrition and Overweight; Environmental Health

The Project:
Amber and Andy used visual technology to teach the children at West Poplar Apartments about healthy lifestyles and physical education. The project was designed to promote engagement and prosocial skills as part of the summer enrichment program. The interns filmed the children during some of their activities and also used skits in an effort to increase the impact of these sessions.  Andy noted, “I enjoyed interacting with the youths this summer and using technology to teach them lessons while participating in community outings.”  Amber said, “Coming into West Poplar, I had the mentality that I was there to teach the kids. I am realizing that they aren’t the only learners. Every single day I come away with something new.”

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College Days: Improving Health Literacy and Communication Among Philly High School Students

Student Intern(s):
Michael Aregbesola, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Zehra Hussain, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s): 
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Hillary R. Bogner, MD, MSCE, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine

Community Preceptor(s): 
Jacqui Bowman, PhD, College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Andrea Kenyon, AMLS, College of Physicians of Philadelphia

The Community Site: 
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, located in Center City, is the oldest professional medical organization in the United States. Its mission is to advance the cause of health, while upholding the ideals and heritage of medicine. Among its many outreach efforts are the Karabots Program and the Cephalon Program, both of which focus on the personal and professional development of Philadelphia high school students. View Community Partner Web Site   

Healthy People 2010: 
Leading Health Indicators:  Environmental Quality; Injury and Violence; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Health Communication; Injury and Violence Prevention; Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Zehra and Mike worked with several summer programs at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The Karabots Program provides mentorship and support to high school students interested in careers in health care. The Cephalon program focuses on improving the health literacy and communication skills of high school students. One overarching theme of the summer was learning how to communicate health information to large groups of people. To this end, Zehra and Mike guided students in planning and leading a health fair for 50 Philadelphia high school students, as well as developing two public service announcements about issues that students felt were important to teens. Other student activities included mapping career goals and thinking about potential obstacles, engaging in tai-chi and self-defense classes, exploring the history of medicine in Philadelphia through a trip to Pennsylvania Hospital and a workshop about yellow fever, and learning about food justice through a field trip to Mill Creek farm. With these and other activities, students developed teamwork and communication skills, while learning about health and community issues in Philadelphia. Michael noted, “Working at the College of Physicians … offered a unique experience, which enabled me to become a mentor to the students involved in programs here at the College. As a mentor, I was able to lend my knowledge to help educate and bring awareness to issues like public health and health literacy.”  Zehra reflected, “Through BTG, I've gotten to know an amazing group of Philadelphia high school students who have impressed and inspired me throughout the summer with their resilience, honesty, and creativity. In only a few weeks, I've become much more comfortable relating to and communicating with the students, as well as developed a clearer understanding of issues that are important to Philadelphia teens. I've enjoyed both the rewards and the challenges of the experience. … BTG has solidified my desire to work with urban adolescents throughout my career.”

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Philadelphia Storytelling Project: Giving Teens a Voice Through Storytelling

Student Intern(s):
Kamelah Jefferson, Drexel University, School of Public Health
Melissa A. Nedza, Drexel University, College of Health and Nursing Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

Academic Preceptor(s):
Rashida West, JD, Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University 

Community Preceptor(s):
Mark Lyons, PA-C, MPH, Philadelphia Storytelling Project
Manuel Portillo, Philadelphia Storytelling Project

The Community Site: 
The Philadelphia Storytelling Project in West Philadelphia provides adolescents with the experience of writing personal stories, interviewing a community leader, and recording, editing, and mixing their stories. View Community Partner Web Site=

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Environmental Quality; Injury and Violence; Mental Health
Focus Areas:  Diabetes; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Environmental Health; Family Planning; Injury and Violence Prevention

The Project:
Melissa and Kamelah assisted the Philadelphia Storytelling Project staff by providing interactive, instructional workshops to students in the Philadelphia Futures Program, an organization that provides promising urban high school students with the tools they need to achieve their dream of a college education.  The interns used small group workshops to help the students develop skills in the areas of literacy and communication, research, technology (computer, recording, sound editing, creating MP3 files), and time-management. Melissa and Kamelah guided students through the process of developing a personal story and a narrative about community issues that they are personally concerned about. Both projects were digitally recorded. Melissa commented, “In guiding the students through the process of writing and narrating their stories, I learned how unique, creative, and passionate each of the students are and I now view working with teenagers in a more positive light. … I am touched and moved by the stories that the students have shared and the risk they took to share what is personal and important to them.”  Kamelah noted, “My experience … has been nothing short of amazing. Coming into the program, I underestimated the power involved in storytelling, and how stories can change lives. Through storytelling the teens were able to speak up and tell their own personal stories, and grow closer to each other and us (the instructors).  The courage the teens displayed by sharing their stories is truly admirable.  I’m so honored to have spent my summer working with such driven, hardworking, amazing teens. They have inspired me to continue to be involved with the youth of Philadelphia.”

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Healthy Start: Paving the Way to a Brighter Future

Student Intern(s):
April Elder, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Sadie Mirabel, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptor(s):
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Tina Jenkins, MHS, Church of the Advocate

The Community Site: 
Church of the Advocate is committed to serving the surrounding North Philadelphia neighborhood by providing a daily soup kitchen, an after school program and a summer day camp for children aged 2 to 13. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity; Access to Health Care
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
April and Sadie developed weekly programs for children attending summer camp at the Church of the Advocate. The interns provided lessons and activities, and facilitated discussions that focused on a variety of health-related issues, such as heart health, oral hygiene, nutrition and physical fitness. April and Sadie worked to make the lessons hands-on and engaging in order to leave an impression on the campers. April commented, “I enjoyed interacting with the children on a daily basis and seeing them get involved and interested in our health-related lessons. This experience has also made me more aware of the importance to be a positive and healthy role model for the next generation.” Sadie noted,  “This has definitely been a unique and life changing experience for me.  Helping the children learn helpful facts about their hearts, exercise, nutrition and the significance of maintaining good health are important lessons. … Being exposed to this community site and area has made me sensitive to many of the issues that this community faced.” 

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Reducing Risky Behaviors and Encouraging Resiliency Among At-Risk Adolescents

Student Intern(s):
Angela P. Soper, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College
Meredith Stern, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

Academic Preceptor(s):
R. Patrick McManus Jr., MD, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

Community Preceptor(s):
Willie D. Little, MSW, Youth Emergency Service

The Community Site: 
Youth Emergency Service (YES), located in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, provides shelter and supportive services for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Mental Health; Responsible Sexual Behavior
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Injury and Violence Prevention; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Physical Activity and Fitness; Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The Project:
Angela and Meredith focused their time and activities on encouraging the adolescents at the Youth Emergency Service (YES) shelter to reduce risky behaviors, make healthy choices and build positive coping mechanisms. Meredith and Angela also served as health care advocates for residents needing medical care. The interns facilitated implementation of the Jefferson medical team’s recommendations by scheduling appointments, researching available health resources and following up with the care plan. The interns also sought fun activities for the adolescents. Meredith noted, “My summer at YES has been an invaluable experience in learning how to work with and advocate for homeless and runaway youth living in Philadelphia. I will definitely take what I have learned this summer and utilize it in my future as a physician. My time at YES is not one I will soon forget. From the stories I’ve heard, to the bonds I’ve formed, these adolescents will be with me throughout my career.”  Angela commented, “Spending a summer at YES has been vital in teaching me the challenges of advocating for the youth of Philadelphia. The adolescents have shown me the many costs and challenges facing youth who grow up in an underserved community. I hope that my relationship with YES will not end with the conclusion of BTG 2010. I will return to the lessons these adolescents have taught me and the stories they have told throughout my life and career.”

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WorkReady Philadelphia, Allegheny West Foundation

Student Intern(s):
Haywan Chiu, Temple University, School of Podiatric Medicine
Kim-Ngan Do, Temple University, Kornberg School of Dentistry
Gerel Emgushova, Temple University, Kornberg School of Dentistry
Candice Loughery, Temple University, School of Medicine
Jake Natalini, Temple University, School of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Dianne Butera, MSW, Temple University, School of Medicine

Community Preceptor(s): 
Jacques Louis, Allegheny West Foundation, WorkReady Program

The Community Site: 
The mission of Allegheny West Foundation (AWF) is to improve the quality of life in the Allegheny West community by providing resources to the neighborhood, specifically youth education and employment. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Environmental Quality; Injury and Violence; Mental Health
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Environmental Health; Heart Disease and Stroke; Injury and Violence Prevention; Occupational Safety and Health

The Project:
Haywan, Kim, Gerel, Candice and Jake worked with the Allegheny West Foundation’s WorkReady program to provide 14- to 16-year-olds with opportunities to experience professional work environments. The adolescents participated in activities designed to cultivate professional skills, such as resume building, teach them about interview etiquette and appropriate work attire, and improve their leadership abilities. The interns assisted the youth in fabricating a business plan for a bed and breakfast inn, modeled after Philadelphia’s Uptown Theater. In addition, they accompanied the students on visits to several colleges and participated in a community cleanup, which took place near the Dobbins High School.  These activities gave Haywan, Kim, Gerel, Candice and Jake the chance to discuss a variety of health-related topics with about 150 teenagers. Topics included cardiovascular health, oral hygiene, physical activity and proper nutrition. Haywan noted, “It was surprising to see the differences between an environment that I grew up in compared to that of the adolescents from North Philadelphia, and you really have to interact with it head on to see from their perspective—a valuable insight for a future physician.”  Kim said, “Being able to work with the AWF staff creating career opportunities for the adolescents in North Philadelphia was a privilege for me. I have the opportunity to interact with many students who live in a community with limited resources. Thus, they are determined to strive forward hoping to make a difference.”  Gerel commented, “Going to school every day I felt as a visitor, an observer of the North Philadelphia community. … I had a rare chance of actually being immersed and becoming a part of the community. I saw how a little recreation center was not just a building but a place where the old remembered Philadelphia during times of Uptown Theater and where the youth realized their dreams. I saw community come together and I consider myself fortunate enough to see it this summer.”  Candice said, “I was able to see and experience a glimpse of the adolescents’ daily lives, experiences and observations that will no doubt come to mind frequently as I work with this population in my career.  While I do not pretend that spending six weeks with the teens gave me anywhere near a full understanding of what their lives are like or the sort of challenges they face, I do believe I got to know them better.”  Jake noted, “This experience provided me with a tremendous amount of insight into a community that I previously had very little understanding of. Perhaps more significant than the opportunity to educate students on a variety of work-related topics, I had the privilege to serve as a mentor for them. Their ability to persevere even in the most difficult of situations is truly inspiring.”

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Service in Health: Educating and Empowering Youth at South Philadelphia High

Student Intern(s):
Jonathan Kole, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Deep Shah, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Louis M. Bell, MD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Eric Williamson, EducationWorks, South Philadelphia High School Project
Latori William-Anderson, EducationWorks, South Philadelphia High School Project
Michael Reid, EducationWorks, South Philadelphia High School Project

The Community Site: 
EducationWorks enriches the lives of children and families by providing educational programs and services in communities confronting high rates of poverty and other barriers to educational achievement. EducationWorks provides a summer program for adolescents at the South Philadelphia High School. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity; Responsible Sexual Behavior
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Deep and Jon collaborated with the EducationWorks staff at South Philadelphia High School to help create and deliver an Extreme Health and Fitness curriculum for adolescents aged 16 to 18.  Through labs, lectures, debates, field trips, cooking demonstrations and even pathology presentations, the youth gained a deeper understanding of health. The youth investigated a variety of health topics, including obesity, nutrition, chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension, oral health, sex education, psychological well-being, substance use/abuse, and others. The interns also advocated for increased physical fitness among the students. Each day, Jon and Deep devoted time to exposing the youth to, and engaging them in, new active hobbies. These new experiences included activities like hockey, ultimate Frisbee, yoga and Indian aerobic dance. Hoping to prepare the youth for future careers, Deep and Jon emphasized public speaking skills, having students practice and receive in-depth feedback daily. This work culminated in several student-driven health advocacy projects in the South Philadelphia community.  Students distributed healthy recipes to residents, delivered health information on local restaurant nutrition, and visited day-care centers to teach simple health lessons. Deep commented, “This program contained many highlights … [such as] the medical/educational days where students engaged with real human pathology and learned about oral care/hygiene through carrying out their own experiments. Through activities such as these and many more, the students were not only able to learn and participate in healthy behaviors, but also empower the community with their knowledge. The community service work the students planned and carried out to teach their fellow community members was inspiring and moving. The students used their knowledge and resources to teach … and even made and distributed flyers around the neighborhood.”  Jonathan noted, “There certainly were many high points (student engagement with the human pathology specimens, the moments of student epiphany mid-lesson, winning the staff-student basketball game), but our service work was the top. Watching the students enthusiastically plan what and how they wanted to teach the community about health was simply inspiring. After learning themselves, so many of them wanted to use their knowledge to give back. What else could a teacher ask for?"

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Good Food From the Ground Up: A “Seeds for Learning” Experience

Student Intern(s):
Diana Dougherty, Drexel University College of Medicine
Preeti Shenoy, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Janet Moore, PsyD, Drexel University College of Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Glynnis Wadsworth, Foundations, Inc., Seeds for Learning

The Community Site: 
Foundations, Inc., Seeds for Learning, located inWest Oak Lane, collaborates with Martin Luther King High School to provide nontraditional educational opportunities and hands-on learning. The program's three primary components equip students with practical knowledge about nutrition, science, finance and the environment, and provide valuable experience in entrepreneurship, teamwork and communication. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Environmental Quality; Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Nutrition and Overweight; Health Communication; Environmental Health; Oral Health

The Project:
Diana and Preeti assisted with both the agricultural and educational facets of the Seeds for Learning program. They worked alongside the teens in the program to perform the day-to-day maintenance of the one-third acre plot, including weeding, watering, composting, pruning and preparing new crop beds. They were able to use this time to talk to the youth about future plans and college preparation. The interns also managed twice-weekly farmer’s markets that sold the farm’s produce to the community.  Finally, the interns helped with the organization, promotion and preparation of the Community Lunch, a weekly summer series to which local residents are invited. There, residents learn about the program while eating a lunch made by local chefs using ingredients from the farm and other local sources. The interns developed nutritional benefit and serving size displays to be presented each week.  Preeti said, “Working with the Seeds for Learning program allowed me to learn about the obstacles and opportunities inherent to nonprofit organizations, especially those in conjunction with urban farms. Through this, I gained a better understanding of the community around me, and the people who live in it. Working with an urban farm program is a unique opportunity and I know that what I have learned here will allow me to make, and to teach about making, better food decisions.”  Diana commented, “While working at Seeds for Learning, it has become so clear to me that I will not be able to treat patients’ health problems in a vacuum—personal, cultural, and especially political influences all contribute to one’s behaviors and overall health and well-being.  Additionally, it has been very important at this site to take into account both the clients’ understanding of, and willingness to learn about their health. … In the future I will be able to look to this experience as a reminder that change may happen slowly, but even small steps are still small victories.”  

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Extreme Health and Fitness

Student Intern(s):
Hillary Haack, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Lisa O’Brien, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptor(s):
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Terry Ward-Filmore, MEd, EducationWorks, Germantown High School Project

The Community Site: 
EducationWorks enriches the lives of children and families by providing educational programs and services in communities confronting high rates of poverty and other barriers to educational achievement. EducationWorks provides a summer program for adolescents at Germantown High School. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity; Environmental Quality
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Lisa and Hilary worked with two groups of high school students at Germantown High School who were participating in EducationWorks’ Extreme Health and Fitness Program. The interns developed a nutrition and exercise-based curriculum that covered how to eat healthfully using proper portion sizes, safe exercise techniques, basic anatomy, oral health, cardiovascular health, and a wide variety of nontraditional exercise styles. They also helped the students plan and host an educational health exposition for their community of Germantown. This offered an opportunity for the students to use public speaking, advertising, writing and interviewing to obtain various donors and vendors for the exposition. Lisa said, “My passion lies in the physical activity aspect of this program. My goal is to introduce the students to as many nontraditional forms of exercise that most would likely not otherwise try. I believe that there is something for everyone.”  Hilary commented, “I have a love of food and an extensive background in nutrition that I’m excited to share with the students. … I hope to dispel numerous nutrition myths as well as teach the basic aspects of a well-balanced diet.”

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Meeting Food Injustice Head On: Reshaping the Nutritional Habits of West Philadelphia From the Ground Up

Student Intern(s):
Kristina Pyclik, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Juston Reary, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Peter Cronholm, MD, MSCE, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Donkey Dover, Urban Nutrition Initiative, University City High School Garden

The Community Site: 
The Urban Nutrition Initiative (UNI) seeks to improve community health and nutrition awareness. UNI works directly with Philadelphia youth, grades K through 12, in both urban gardens and classroom kitchens to help them learn about nutrition, food access and leadership. The Gardening Project is designed to teach students about growing healthy foods in school gardens, and about the different vegetable/fruit groups and their health benefits and history. View Community Partner Web Site   

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Environmental Quality; Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Diabetes; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Health Communication; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Overweight

The Project:
Kristina and Juston worked with the Urban Nutrition Initiative’s University City High School Gardening Project to provide a program for 23 high school students. The interns helped teach workshops on gardening skills and nutrition. In addition, the interns worked with small groups of youth in planting and maintaining the garden. As the youth prepared to teach what they had learned to younger students in the West Philadelphia community, the interns mentored them in skills needed for public speaking and teaching. Kristina and Juston implemented a health curriculum focusing on issues relevant to the adolescents involved in the gardening project. Kristina stated, “This summer I have gained a new appreciation for the health challenges that face the West Philadelphia population. … While teaching students about health-related diseases I was continually struck by how difficult the information was for the students to implement. I learned how to adjust my teaching and advice to better realistically serve the needs of the students.”  Juston noted, “My work through BTG this summer at the UNI has truly been an eye-opening experience. Every week students gain knowledge and skills that allow them not only to work effectively in the garden, but also work effectively among their peers and in their community. To be a part of that, to me, is one of the most rewarding parts about being a part of this experience.”

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Food for Change: Developing a Sustainable Health and Nutrition Curriculum for West Philadelphia Youth

Student Intern(s):
Katherine Kunkel, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Cecily Mitchell, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice

Academic Preceptor(s):
Jeane Ann Grisso, MD, MSc, University of Pennsylvania, Schools of Medicine and Nursing
Jeffrey Draine, PhD, MSW, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice

Community Preceptor(s):
Kristin Schwab, Urban Nutrition Initiative, Nutrition’s Most Wanted

The Community Site: 
The Urban Nutrition Initiative (UNI) seeks to improve community health and nutrition awareness. UNI works directly with Philadelphia youth, grades K through 12, in both urban gardens and classroom kitchens to help them learn about nutrition, food access and leadership. Nutrition's Most Wanted (NMW), a development program for youth, is a facet of UNI and is composed of Sayre High School students. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Environmental Quality; Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Diabetes; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Health Communication; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Overweight

The Project:
Katherine and Cecily worked with 15 high school students at the Sayre High School in the Urban Nutrition Initiative’s Nutrition Most Wanted program. The interns helped teach workshops on cooking skills, health-related diseases and healthy habits. In addition, the interns worked with small groups of youth to further guide them in their professional development. As the youth prepared to teach the Nutrition Most Wanted curriculum to younger students in the West Philadelphia community, the interns mentored them in public speaking and teaching techniques. The interns helped develop and implement a curriculum on health-related topics for future use by UNI. Katherine and Cecily also evaluated this curriculum’s effectiveness with surveys given to the students at the beginning and end of each curricular module. Katherine remarked, “Working at UNI has been a truly eye-opening experience. Through my experience this summer, I have developed a much more realistic understanding of the challenges and barriers that residents of West Philadelphia face with respect to nutrition, health and social change.  Additionally, I have realized that working for behavioral change is an arduous process that is multifactorial and deeply complex. This realization is coupled with a new appreciation for the structure and function of the community as a whole in the individual residents’ lives.”  Cecily commented, “My experience at UNI youth has been both rewarding and challenging. This summer I have gained a deeper understanding of the complex landscape of community health. My work with UNI youth this summer has further highlighted for me the importance of interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration to address the health needs of West Philadelphia youth.”

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Insuring the Future: Nutrition and Hygiene in Children

Student Intern(s):
Nadia Hasan, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Claria Prior, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptor(s):
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Pilar Blakely, To Our Children’s Future With Health, Lamberton Beacon Safe Haven

The Community Site:
The Lamberton Beacon program of To Our Children’s Future with Health provides a safe haven and summer program for children in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia. 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity; Access to Health Care
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Nutrition and Overweight; Heart Disease and Stroke; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Claria and Nadia worked with 8- and 9-year-olds at the Lamberton Beacon Safe Haven Summer Camp. The interns used interactive games and hands-on activities to teach the children about proper nutrition, cardiovascular health, and oral hygiene, and to help them become interested and aware of these important lifestyle issues.  Every day the summer camp also took a field trip, and the interns were responsible for accompanying their group. Earlier in the day, before the summer camp hours started, the interns assisted teachers in “Summer Learning and More” (SLAM), a pilot program implemented in the summer of 2010 by the City of Philadelphia to provide enrichment opportunities and appropriate skill development in core subject areas. Claria noted, “This summer with BTG has allowed me to view a different environment and community. … I have learned how best to work with children and also learned that children can teach.”  Nadia said, “This experience has been invaluable in helping me understand and appreciate the demographic of my possible future patients. … [I] was forced to think creatively about how to get important health care messages across.”

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Healthy Brains, Bodies, & Behavior

Student Intern(s):
Dermond Henry, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Kathyrn Holyk, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptor(s):
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Sandi Ramos, Institute for the Development of African-American Youth, Wagner Beacon Program

The Community Site: 
The mission of the Institute for the Development of African-American Youth (IDAAY) is to provide educational and cultural programs as well as prevention-intervention services for youth, their families, and the broader community. The Wagner component program provides services for youth from the Ogontz and West Oak Lane sections of Philadelphia. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity; Injury and Violence
Focus Areas:  Oral Health; Injury and Violence Prevention; Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness; Heart Disease and Stroke

The Project:
Dermond and Kathryn worked with the Institute for the Development of African-American Youth (IDAAY) in their out-of-school-time program at Wagner School. The interns created a curriculum that focused on a specific area of health each week. Through project-based learning, the youth learned about cardiovascular health, nutrition, oral health, injury and violence prevention, and exercise. Each week they completed a project ranging from posters to brochures that eventually culminated in a health fair for their families. This gave the youth an opportunity to teach community members about the health issues they learned over the summer. Dermond said, “My experience this summer has been interesting. I developed an attachment with the kids and it’s a feeling I will never forget. … I think the lessons I learned this summer will have a strong impact on how I interact with the patients in the hospital.”  Kathryn noted, “I have gained valuable knowledge about not only how to convey information about healthy living, but also about problems that youth face. … The challenges that I have overcome this summer helped me to grow professionally and personally, and that is something for which I will be eternally grateful.” 

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Healing Hurt People—A Violence Intervention Program

Student Intern(s):
Amadou N’Dow, Drexel University College of Medicine
Megan Strobel, Drexel University, Earle Mack School of Law & College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology

Academic Preceptor(s):
Rashida West, JD, Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University

Community Preceptor(s):
Ted Corbin, MD, MPP, Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice
Linda Rich, MA, Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice
Ann Wilson, BA, Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice

The Community Site: 
The Healing Hurt People (HHP) program, located at Hahnemann University Hospital and St. Christopher’s Children’s Hospital, is a trauma-informed, hospital-based violence intervention program.  It is designed to intervene in the lives of injured patients after a life-changing moment.  HHP is a community-focused program that seeks to reduce violence among individuals aged 8 to 30 through immediate and relevant opportunities for healing and connection. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Injury and Violence; Mental Health; Access to Health Care; Substance Abuse;
Environmental Quality
Focus Areas:  Injury and Violence Prevention; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Access to Quality Health Services; Public Health Infrastructure; Disability and Secondary Conditions; Substance Abuse; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Environmental Health

The Project:
Amadou and Megan worked with the staff of the Healing Hurt People (HHP) program to address the trauma experienced by individuals aged 8 to 30. The interns participated in S.E.L.F. psycho-educational support groups for victims of violence. They went on home visits and helped link clients with community resources. They also created trauma-informed brochures for the emergency departments at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Hahnemann University Hospital, and facilitated trauma workshops for high school students participating in a Service Learning Day Program. They spent a few hours each week tutoring clients for their driving tests, and for summer school and GEDs.  Finally, Amadou and Megan created extensive community resource lists to help address the needs of clients. Megan noted, “Working with Healing Hurt People has taught me a lot about the complexity of violence as a public health issue. I have learned that trauma is at the center of a lot of physical and psychological pain and has a direct connection to many significant health, mental health, and social problems. I have also been exposed to the value of an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving. … This experience has taught me to see the struggles of my community as struggles of my own, and to embrace a universal truth that our connectedness is more sacred than our differences.”  Amadou reflected, “Throughout the past few weeks, my clients gave me a peek into their lives … my experience has forever changed my perception of how to treat victims of violent crimes and empathize with them as people coping with problems that run deeper than physical trauma.”

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The Bridge to the Future

Student Intern(s):
Demarie Conteh-Morgan, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Mirnouve Domond, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptor(s):
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Jacques Louis, Allegheny West Foundation, Murrell Dobbins Project

The Community Site: 
The mission of Allegheny West Foundation (AWF), located in North Philadelphia, is to improve the quality of life in the AWF community by providing resources to the neighborhood, specifically youth education and employment. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Injury and Violence; Physical Activity; Responsible Sexual Behavior
Focus Areas:  Heart Disease and Stroke; Physical Activity and Fitness; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Injury and Violence Prevention; Nutrition and Overweight

The Project:
At the Allegheny West Foundation’s Summer Murrell Dobbins Program, Mirnouve and Demarie assisted the staff in providing adolescents with opportunities to develop professional skills for the future. A component of the summer activities was a health promotion program that focused on cardiovascular health, nutrition and physical activity. The interns accompanied the teens on various outings, which included a tour of colleges in the region. They also facilitated small group discussions to help the youth prepare the presentation of a business plan for a proposed bed and breakfast in the neighborhood once known as Uptown. Mirnouve said, “Through my interactions with the students I gained a better understanding of the challenges that urban youth face in the North Philadelphia area. The BTG program provided me with opportunity to become more familiar with the community resources that are available in Philadelphia.” Demarie commented, “The experience opened my eyes to some of the many challenges that urban youth face today and how they attempt to cope with these issues. I thank the BTG program for giving me the opportunity to learn from the teens and the AWF. It has truly been a summer of personal and professional growth.”

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Beyond City Limits

Student Intern(s):
Adan Cerda, Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University
Jason Zeller, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s): 
Steven Rosenzweig, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

Community Preceptor(s): 
Eric Dolaway, Urban Blazers

The Community Site: 
Urban Blazers uses primary, active experience to stimulate youth to become responsible for their development in education, leadership and relationships. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Physical Activity; Environmental Quality; Mental Health
Focus Areas:  Physical Activity and Fitness; Environmental Health; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Injury and Violence Prevention; Health Communication

The Project:
Adan and Jason worked with the staff of Urban Blazers in providing experiential learning and exploration activities. The interns led groups of youth on various hikes and activities throughout the Fairmount Park system and Wissahickon Valley. Although many of the youth live just blocks from these city parks, few had spent much time exploring or discovering the beauty and wonder of the trails. Activities were designed to inspire self-awareness, leadership skills, and teamwork, as well as to promote healthy, safe, outdoor fun. Adan said, “I found the time that I spent with the kids priceless because of their raw enthusiasm and true personalities. The kids definitely kept me on my toes and let me remain young at heart.” Jason noted, “As an intern, I see it as my job not to directly teach the kids, but to guide the kids to educate themselves about health and nature in a way they find fun, rewarding and beneficial to their growth into adolescent and adult life.  I hope … youth now enjoy and understand the health benefits of an active lifestyle. This interaction with various age groups and communities will stay with me throughout my career as a medical professional.”

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Shaping Young Minds in the Kitchen

Student Intern(s):
Christine Koshel, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Nicholas Punch, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptor(s):
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Anthony Singleton, John Bartram High School

The Community Site: 
John Bartram High School, located in Southwest Philadelphia, provides a Summer Bridge Program for incoming ninth grade students. This program incorporates information about healthy lifestyles and wellness education into the curriculum.

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity; Responsible Sexual Behavior
Focus Areas:  Heart Disease and Stroke; HIV; Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness; Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The Project:
At John Bartram High School, Christine and Nicholas assisted the staff in providing the incoming ninth grade students in the Summer Bridge Program with an experience focusing on healthy lifestyles. The focal point of the course was nutrition. Christine and Nicholas planned a menu consisting of at least two healthy meals/snacks per week for the children to cook or prepare under their supervision. They explained to the students why such choices were healthy, as well as how students could make healthier choices in their daily lives. The interns also provided sessions on oral health, responsible sexual behavior, and the prevention of heart disease and hypertension in relation to proper nutrition and physical activity.  Christine said, “As a physician-in-training, I understand the central importance of patient education to overall health. … Learning to bring these health issues to reality for students through cooking has been a rewarding experience, and the interest the youth have shown has inspired me to believe that generational change can begin with a single child in the kitchen.”  Nicholas said, “I am grateful for the bonds and friendships that I have made here this summer and eagerly look forward to making even more when I begin to practice medicine in the future.” 

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Reaching Out of the Attic: Work Readiness and Outreach Internships with LGBTQ Youth

Student Intern(s):
Bryce Bernard, Drexel University College of Medicine
Amy Capomacchio, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

Academic Preceptor(s):
Ellen Schelly-Hill, MMT, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

Community Preceptor(s):
Jacinto J. Grant, MSW, Attic Youth Center

The Community Site: 
The Attic Youth Center, located in Center City, provides a safe, supportive community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. The Bridging the Gaps interns participated in the Summer Youth Service Corps program that gave adolescents a chance to experience authentic work settings and obtain job-related skills. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Responsible Sexual Behavior; Mental Health; Access to Health Care; Injury and Violence
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; HIV; Sexually Transmitted Diseases; Occupational Safety and Health; Health Communication; Mental Health and Mental Disorders

The Project:
In addition to supporting much of the Attic Youth Center’s summer programming, Bryce and Amy assisted the Life Skills team in facilitating service learning and internship programs through Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), a program designed to give youth throughout the city valuable work experience during the summer. Amy helped with day-to-day tasks, including working with youth to prepare lunch for the service-learning group. She also developed a curriculum to teach professionalism and other skills, which she and Bryce used to lead sessions for youth participating in the internship program. Bruce helped manage payroll and acted as a liaison between the Attic and PYN. He also facilitated meetings between the youth and the community mentors they were assigned to, to help them develop career plans. Bryce commented, “[This] has been an incredibly valuable experience for me as a person and as a future physician. … I have made meaningful connections with both the youth and the staff, and I have developed a better sense of the obstacles that members of a socioeconomically disadvantaged group often face.”  Amy noted, “Although our ‘job’ was to teach and share our expertise, I think the youths’ resilience is a lesson that they have taught me. I learned an incredible amount about developing relationships and facilitating communication. I look forward to incorporating what I have learned this summer into my work as a creative arts therapist.”

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Today’s Mentors, Tomorrow’s Health Professionals

Student Intern(s):
Carmelina Staino, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson School of Pharmacy

Academic Preceptor(s):
Elena Umland, PharmD, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson School of Pharmacy

Community Preceptor(s):
Neva White, MSN, CRNP, CDE, Thomas Jefferson University, Department of Community Health

The Community Site: 
Exploring Health Careers, Thomas Jefferson Community Health Department, is an adolescent “train the trainer” program, where teen trainers participate in health education sessions and share this health-related information with younger community members. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Working in the Exploring Health Careers program, Carmelina created a curriculum for adolescent community health trainers. She engaged the teens in educational sessions and program planning that was focused on relevant health issues for both the youth and elderly community members. Topics, such as nutrition, exercise, and reducing screen time, were presented to community participants through fun, interactive approaches. The program also included a weekly book discussion and activities that exposed the adolescents to various health careers and opportunities. Carmelina reflected, “The ‘train-the-trainer’ method challenged me because as my natural inclination was to do it all instead of teaching and encouraging the youth to design the lessons. This experience taught me how to delegate while working on becoming a more effective leader.”

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