BTG Hope

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BTG Community Preceptor
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Philadelphia Consortium Projects - 2012

Children & Youth

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Artology Camp: An Interdisciplinary Summer Learning Experience

Student Interns:
Debra Lynn August, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy
Leeanne Griffith, Drexel University College of Medicine
Amy Lu, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy
Sharon Song, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor:
Florence Ierardi, MM, MT-BC, LPC, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

Community Preceptors:
Tyra Jackson, BuildaBridge
Vivian Nix-Early, PhD, BuildaBridge
Jamaine Smith, BuildaBridge

The Community Site:
Artology, an art and biology summer camp of BuildaBridge, is an interdisciplinary, dynamic educational experience connecting artistic and scientific discovery to sharpen students’ creative proficiency, stimulate investigative inquiry, and deepen a sense of public responsibility. Artology sparks students’ curiosity through a curriculum that integrates natural sciences and the arts and utilizes Philadelphia’s vast natural splendor as a vibrant, evolving classroom. The camp serves youth coping with homelessness and poverty from BuildaBridge’s partner sites in North, West, and Northwest Philadelphia, and is open to other interested Philadelphia-area youth. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Environmental Health; Heart Disease and Stroke; Mental Health; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Leeanne, Debra Lynn, Amy and Sharon worked as group leaders for the BuildaBridge Artology summer camp. Each intern was responsible for assisting a group of “Artologists” during their art projects and science experiments. As group leaders, the interns served not only as role models and counselors for campers but also as caring adults who encouraged and supported the youth through their Artology experience. Many of the Artologists were facing challenges stemming from homelessness, poverty and/or learning/mental disabilities. The interns provided an essential component in creating a safe and motivating learning environment that promoted resilience and healing from all kinds of trauma. Debra Lynn commented, “The experience of working with BTG has opened my eyes to the ‘greater picture.’ … I did not expect to learn so much about interdisciplinary teamwork in health care and the great benefits such collaboration leads to. My work at my community site … provided invaluable experiences that have helped me to expand my skill set tremendously in a short amount of time. Ultimately, I feel that the BTG experience is one that has affected me personally and professionally and will positively inform my interactions with clients for many years to come.” Leeanne stated, “Working with BTG … has helped me to see how important it is to invest in the children in our communities. At the … Artology site, I have learned how art, science, music and play can be used together as a conduit for the children’s development of social skills, strong character and resilience. Through this program and all of the community resources it has put me in touch with, it has become strikingly clear to me how many opportunities we as adults have to intervene in a child’s life and help put them on a positive trajectory. BTG has taught me to look at all my interactions with children as an opportunity to assist them in defining their path to get to the good life they deserve. During this internship, I have also developed a strong skill set for working on an interdisciplinary team of professionals, which will be vital to the success of my medical career as a physician.” Sharon reflected, “Artology is an amazing camp that tries to maximize children’s potential through their engagement with the arts, music and sciences, all within the BuildaBridge framework. I have adored getting to know all of the Artology kids and watching them have fun being curious and bounce back from the challenges that come their way. With the proper kind of support, kids can be very resilient, and this summer experience has reinforced the importance of providing children with guidance and love to help each reach his or her individual potential. Programs like Artology do incredible, inspiring work for our community of kids. I have been delighted to be a part of it this summer, and I hope to continue work in child advocacy in my career as a doctor.” Amy noted, “BTG has further motivated me … through emphasizing the importance of strong bonds between those involved in community outreach and mental and medical health professionals. … It continually strikes me how precious the time of childhood and adolescence is in actively making mind-body connections, and the lasting reciprocal influence that science can have on the arts and vice versa. I feel privileged to have had this opportunity and to have seen so much positive change. Stimulation, creativity, discovery, responsibility and empowerment are embedded into the fabric of Artology, and its interdisciplinary program is inspiring and crucial.”

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Patterson Summer Camp: Choosing the Right Path to a Healthy and Successful Life

Student Interns:
Michelle Ama Dankwah, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing
Maetal Rozenberg, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Academic Preceptors:
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Ann L. O’Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CPNP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing

Community Preceptor:
Lorraine Thomas, Southwest Community Development Corporation

The Community Site:
Southwest Community Development Corporation, locally referred to as Southwest CDC, tackles issues facing low-income Southwest Philadelphia residents through services such as utility and rental assistance, housing and employment counseling, family services, and economic development planning. Since 1999, Southwest CDC has planned and organized a free summer camp for children at the John M. Patterson Elementary School. The seven-week day camp provides free educational and recreational activities and nutritious breakfasts and lunches for the campers. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Injury and Violence Prevention; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Michelle and Maetal worked with the staff at the Patterson Elementary School Camp, a program of the Southwest Community Development Corporation. During the internship, Maetal and Michelle planned, created and taught health-based curricula for nearly 100 school-age campers that centered around five major themes: physical health, mental health, safety, oral health and hygiene. The interns used various teaching approaches tailored to each age group to engage the children, such as songs, games, role-playing, smoothie-making, demonstrations, movies, speakers, arts and crafts, and presentations. The daily camp schedule involved seven one-hour classes with groups of about 15 students each. In addition to lesson planning, Maetal and Michelle also organized and chaperoned an educational field trip for the fourth- and fifth-grade campers to the Mütter Museum in Center City. Maetal also facilitated several visits by the Penn dental van. During a planning period, Michelle and Maetal also independently solicited supplies from generous outside organizations to facilitate planned activities. Michelle reflected, “Gun violence, parental drug abuse, absentee fathers and low-income neighborhoods have done little to jade these amazing kids. Despite the realities of their socioeconomic disadvantages, the campers remain bright-eyed, bubbly and eager to learn—speaking volumes for the resiliency of children. They are unfalteringly optimistic, which is quite inspiring. As a future nurse working with children, I will definitely keep these experiences with me, as these kids have taught me that even when put through the ringer, with proper support children are extremely capable of bouncing back, something that is very important to remember when working with some of the doom and gloom often involved in health care.” Maetal noted, “My experiences in the Southwest Philadelphia community have been quite eye-opening. Working with the children has shown me that no matter where they are from, kids are still kids. The children at Patterson are so loving and caring, full of personality with dreams of becoming famous athletes, chefs, and policemen. … [This experience] will definitely impact my future as a practicing dentist as I try to help patients reconcile good health behaviors with unsupportive environments.”

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CWEP: A Healthy Place to Grow

Student Interns:
Alyssa DiFrancesco, Temple University, College of Health Professions and Social Work, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Occupational Therapy Program
Courtney Souza, Temple University, School of Medicine

Academic Preceptor:
Nancy Rothman, EdD, RN, Temple University, College of Health Professions and Social Work, Department of Nursing

Community Preceptors:
Alexis Brown, MBA, Community Women’s Education Project, Early Learning Center
Christina Pickett, MEd, Community Women’s Education Project, Early Learning Center

The Community Site:
The Community Women’s Education Project (CWEP), located in Kensington, is a community-based educational facility addressing the social and economic inequities affecting the community’s at-risk families. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Heart Disease and Stroke; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Alyssa and Courtney created a preschool education program for the children at the Community Women’s Education Project (CWEP) Early Learning Center. The program highlighted various aspects of healthy living, including the five food groups, healthy eating habits, cardiovascular health, oral hygiene, physical fitness, hand washing and other general hygiene practices. To create an age-appropriate learning environment, the interns taught the preschoolers through songs, games, art activities, circle time lessons, bulletin boards, books and other hands-on activities. Alyssa and Courtney also aimed to provide the children with resources to implement these lessons at home and in the community. Alyssa said, “Working with people from other disciplines in the health sciences and from other backgrounds has really broadened my horizons. I began at CWEP with the notion that I would be teaching the preschoolers valuable lessons, but in all actuality they taught me more than I could have ever imagined. This experience has further fueled my passion for helping others and is proof that I will never stop learning from others.” Courtney added, “I am so grateful to have had the unique opportunity to work at CWEP’s Early Learning Center this summer. I feel that I gained a better awareness of the obstacles that people in North Philadelphia face. … My experience has taught me to be a more creative problem solver and open-minded individual, qualities which I know will benefit me throughout my professional career.”

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Bye-Bye Bullying

Student Interns:
Arshia Rassi, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Fiona Sattaur, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptors:
Joanne Muir Behm, MSS, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Eugene Mochan, DO, PhD, FACOFP, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Paulette Copeland-Bolton, MEd, Lee Cultural Center

The Community Site:
Lee Cultural Center, located in West Philadelphia, hosts Camp Uplift, a summer day camp for neighborhood children aged 4 to 14. In addition to Camp Uplift, the center is home to a tennis camp, a soccer camp and a swim camp during the summer. Throughout the school year, Lee Cultural Center provides after-school care for local youth and is used by many other organizations such as Girl Scouts, high school sports teams, club sports and special-interest groups. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Heart Disease and Stroke; Injury and Violence Prevention; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Fiona and Arshia designed a program called S.E.L.F.: Safety, Exercise, Leisure and Food for the children at Lee Cultural Center’s Camp Uplift. The S.E.L.F. program focused on cardiovascular health and nutrition, and had a major emphasis on bullying prevention. The interns created several workshops with the goal of giving the children more information about the impact of bullying, techniques to positively manage anger and conflict, tips for violence prevention, and education on the use of 911. Each camper contributed to a collaborative anti-bullying pledge, which was then signed by each child and displayed in the camp playroom for the remainder of the summer. Additionally, the children received information on oral health and resources for obtaining regular dental screenings. Fiona said, “Prior to BTG, my understanding of public health issues and adversities that many face in our country was very limited. While I was not happy to see the topics that we received lectures on (i.e., poverty, hunger, health illiteracy and violence) come to life within our camp, I was glad to be able to put faces to these issues. Although I still cannot say that I understand these extremely complex issues, I am happy to be able to say that they have touched my life, and I can hopefully use this experience to be a more culturally aware and competent physician in the future.” Arshia noted, “BTG has truly exposed me to the complexity of issues faced by impoverished communities. Change is difficult to obtain under any circumstance, but especially with limited resources. Understanding that everyone comes from different situations will be an added tool when deciding how to provide proper health care in the future.”

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Healthy Kids: Mind, Body, Spirit

Student Interns:
Hannah Crooke, Drexel University School of Public Health
Laura Duffy, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy
Arielle Grossman, Drexel University College of Medicine
Keith Torrey, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor:
Daniel R. Taylor, DO, FAAP, Drexel University College of Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Angela Jubinville, MSEd, Centro Nueva Creación

The Community Site:
Centro Nueva Creación’s Goodlands Summer Camp promotes resiliency in young people through educational enrichment and engagement with the arts and Latino cultures. The theme for the 2012 Goodlands Camp was “Healthy Kids.” View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Environmental Health; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Hannah, Laura, Arielle and Keith planned and taught classes in cooking/nutrition, gardening and sports for the participants of Goodlands Camp. Under the “Healthy Kids” project title, their main objective was to encourage healthy physical, mental and spiritual habits. The interns aimed to increase awareness of practical ways to become healthier in everyday living. Additionally, the interns performed program evaluation, survey administration and data collection for a grant application. Laura noted, “BTG was particularly helpful in my professional growth as a future music therapist. Through planning and implementing lessons for children of different ages, I was able to learn more about both typical and atypical developmental stages. … On a personal level, my experience with BTG has shaped my desire to work with young children in the future, and has increased my understanding of the medical and public health professions.” Arielle commented, “BTG, through both lectures and observations at my site, has provided me with an awareness of the disparities that can exist between neighborhoods as well as the resources that are available. I have gained an understanding of how one’s environment can impact one’s health. In addition, I had the opportunity to learn about another culture as I worked in a primarily Latino neighborhood. This experience … has furthered my passion for working with children, enabled me to work in an interdisciplinary team, and will make me a more empathetic physician.” Hannah stated, “BTG has been a meaningful and engaging summer experience. Moving from the public health classroom into the field has given me valuable insight into community and family dynamics that the classroom can’t provide. The opportunity to learn about child and adolescent development in the camp setting and during the Wednesday didactic sessions provided valuable knowledge that I can carry over into my professional life.” Keith noted, “The children made it truly exciting to teach and care for them throughout the summer. I was rejuvenated by their stories and their energy as I learned about the broader socioeconomic and public health situation in this section of Philadelphia and how to adapt lessons and activities to children of different ages. Spending the summer this way, I have affirmed that I absolutely want to work with children in my career and that I am happiest when collaborating with a team of varied skills and backgrounds.”

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Growing Green Communities Through Urban Gardening in Haddington

Student Interns:
Zachary Goldstein, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College
Allison Rague, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College
Krista Taylor, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson School of Pharmacy

Academic Preceptor:
Carl Pitts, PT, DPT, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson College of Health Professionals, Department of Physical Therapy

Community Preceptor:
Skip Wiener, Urban Tree Connection

The Community Site:
Urban Tree Connection is a community-based urban greening project that transforms abandoned open spaces into community gardens, providing fruit and vegetables to surrounding residents. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Chronic Disease (Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Respiratory Diseases, etc.); Environmental Health; Health Communication; Nutrition and Weight Status; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
At the Urban Tree Connection, Allison, Krista and Zach worked on a farm and surrounding community gardens with high school students from Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN). The 25 PYN youths were divided into groups focusing on different projects related to urban gardening, including social media, marketing, garden/landscape design, environmental education and construction/farm maintenance. Each youth was given the opportunity to explore his or her own interests within the realm of farming. As group leaders, the interns focused on five main goals: community, teamwork/collaboration, courage/self-empowerment, responsibility and initiative. The youths participated in farming and business lessons. They learned the difference between conventional and organic farming and were able to observe the positive changes they were making in the community. As a part of the marketing group, some were able to learn the business side of farming by working at a farmers market selling the produce they had picked earlier in the day. Nutrition was also a focus: Using food from the farm each week, one group cooked a healthy meal for the greater Urban Tree Connection community. Allison commented, “The days were hot and long but everyone came together and worked hard towards common goals. We formed some close relationships and I was able to learn a lot about these kids, where they come from, who they are, what their concerns entail. This summer was about more than just farming and building; it was about empowering young people and seeing the benefits of hard work. In the end I can only hope my group was able to gain as much from me as I did from them.” Zach said, “Although it was a challenge to keep five teenagers motivated … it was an amazing experience to work with them. I was really impressed by how much promise and potential they had, and the most rewarding moments this summer were when they took an interest in their projects and ran with the concepts they were working on.” Krista reflected, “It’s nice to see that hard work pays off. In the beginning of the summer, the kids had trouble seeing the big picture of the smaller projects that they were working on. By the end, we saw that all of our smaller projects had developed into the completion of several larger projects. This certainly helped the kids realize how much they can accomplish when they put their mind to it.”

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Healthy Systems, Healthy Kids: An Innovative Way to Teach Health Education

Student Interns:
Angelica Johnson, Drexel University College of Medicine
Shefali Shah, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor:
Stacy Ellen, DO, Drexel University College of Medicine, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children

Community Preceptor:
Kristyn Stewart, MS, Foundations, Inc.

The Community Site:
The Philadelphia Center for Arts and Technology of Foundations, Inc., holds a summer camp for school-aged children (aged 6 to 16) that teaches students about science, technology, engineering, math and the arts (including dance and music). Children and teens are able to attend the summer camp and stay active while learning about different career opportunities. The camp offers academic and career guidance as well as field trips to Philadelphia sites and daily recreational activities. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Chronic Disease (Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Respiratory Diseases, etc.); Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Weight Status; Physical Activity and Fitness; Responsible Sexual Behavior

The Project:
The main focus of Angelica and Shefali’s work at Foundations, Inc.’s Philadelphia Center for Arts and Technology was to enhance the students’ knowledge about health and healthy lifestyles. Each week, the students listened to a short presentation about a particular system of the body and performed an activity that encouraged active learning. Before each class, the interns led the students in stretching exercises and reviewed the lesson from the previous week. They also used a pre-quiz to gauge the students’ understanding of the information before each new lesson. Angelica said, “I really enjoyed helping the students learn about their bodies. Looking at the pre-quizzes, most students did not know about the function and purpose of the heart. We tried to ensure adequate learning by reviewing previous lessons each week. This program has helped me understand how to better teach and mentor children and teens.” Shefali reflected, “Teaching and listening to the children and teens really opened my eyes to the possible patient populations and life experiences I will encounter in my future as a physician. I am grateful I had this opportunity to educate the young students about healthy lifestyles, especially diet and exercise. I hope our lessons have a lasting impact on our students, and perhaps they taught some of the lessons to their families and friends.”

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Healthy Choices Summer Camp

Student Interns:
Funsho Adekunle, Drexel University College of Medicine
Jessica Berman, Drexel University College of Medicine
Joseph Spataro, Drexel University College of Medicine
Hannah Wiefel, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor:
Leslie Everts, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Suku John, PhD, East Park Revitalization Alliance

The Community Site:
The East Park Revitalization Alliance (EPRA) aims to empower residents to revitalize the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood through the arts, the environment and education. EPRA joined with the Mander Recreation Center to present the Healthy Choices Summer Camp for children aged 5 to 12 from the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Chronic Disease (Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Respiratory Diseases, etc.); Environmental Health; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Weight Status; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Funsho, Jessica, Joseph and Hannah worked at East Park Revitalization Alliance’s (EPRA’s) Healthy Choices Summer Camp held at Mander Recreation Center in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood of Philadelphia. In addition to regular summer camp activities such as playing games, swimming, hiking and crafts, the interns planned activities for each week focusing on cardiovascular fitness and nutritional concepts. The campers and interns also spent time each week in the community gardens and the orchard maintained by EPRA, learning to connect the food that is grown in their neighborhood with making healthy choices. These activities enabled the interns to develop strong connections with the campers and get a glimpse of what life is like in Strawberry Mansion. Funsho said, “In the beginning of the summer I came into the camp having certain expectations in what I wanted to accomplish through the seven weeks. Those expectations and goals have changed because I’ve learned that I have to be humble enough and understanding enough to know that my expectations might not line up with a person or a group or a community’s own goals and expectations. I’ve learned … to askhow I can help instead of assumingthe help someone needs.” Jessica noted, “This summer has been a challenge and an eye-opening experience. The expectations I had coming into this summer about the campers and my role as a counselor have been transformed, making me better understand both the community and myself. … Being able to work with the youngest members of the community has and will continue to inspire me to fight for better health care for every patient regardless of their background. I have also learned a valuable lesson in being more flexible and willing to adjust my own plans to reach my clients more effectively.” Joseph stated, “The BTG experience has given me an opportunity to listen, understand, refine personal skills and observe the impact of culture on childhood development. It has taught me the values of coordinating personal goals with the neighborhood’s priorities. … Listening, communicating and bonding with the kids has been insightful in understanding their behaviors, emotions and reactions to different stimuli. This experience has helped me gain an appreciation for resilience.” Hannah reflected, “I am very glad to have had the opportunity to participate in BTG this summer. I feel that I learned invaluable information about the social determinants of health that will be sure to help me in my future career as a physician. I learned why it is so important to consider not just the patient, but also the patient’s background and environment. … I learned to look beyond a child’s behavior to try and understand what lies beneath it, and to be more patient and more flexible in my expectations so that I can give that child the support he or she needs.”

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Strength in Differences: Comfort in Community

Student Interns:
Nicholas Ellis, Temple University, College of Health Professions and Social Work, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Occupational Therapy Program
Jillian Kirby, Temple University, College of Health Professions and Social Work, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Occupational Therapy Program

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

Community Preceptor:
Kevin Weber, Northern Home for Children

The Community Site:
Northern Home for Children’s Partial Hospitalization Program is a non-residential behavior-based program for socially or emotionally troubled children and youth aged 8 to 12. The program provides individual counseling, group therapy, academic enrichment, community sports and recreational activities. These activities foster and support self-understanding and social interaction. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Weight Status; Physical Activity and Fitness; Substance Abuse; Tobacco Use

The Project:
The primary objective of Jillian and Nick’s work at the Northern Home for Children’s (NHC’s) Partial Hospitalization Program was the promotion of positive social interactions and healthy lifestyles. The interns increased the youths’ physical activity through organized sports instruction and free play. They addressed academic skills through tutoring in math and reading. They also facilitated positive relationships among themselves, the staff and the children at NHC and tried to maintain a safe place for each child to share his or her differences and find comfort with one another. Nick commented, “Establishing the trust needed to build constructive relationships with the kids was by far the most difficult task. As I reflect back upon the positive connections I forged through empathic listening and sheer determination, I feel a great sense of pride and fulfillment. This internship taught me the value of community outreach.” Jillian noted, “Working at NHC this summer has been a truly rewarding experience. I have met some exceptional kids that have made an impact on my life. It has allowed me to open my eyes to see my own community in a different light. … Working with a group of such diverse children has challenged me but yet has taught me more than they will ever understand. I am truly thankful for this experience.”

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Legacy National Junior Tennis League Camp: Swinging to a Better Future

Student Interns:
Sultan Ghuman, Drexel University College of Medicine
Robert Holleran, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor:
Annette Gadegbeku, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Ben Hirsh, Legacy Youth Tennis and Education

The Community Site:
Legacy Youth Tennis and Education (LYTE) (formerly Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education) strives to enhance the quality of life of young people through tennis and education. The organization works primarily with children aged 4 to 18 from local underserved areas. Since 2005, Penrose Community Center, located in North Philadelphia, has partnered with LYTE to provide the National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) program, enabling youth to participate in tennis instruction and compete with other NJTL community sites in Philadelphia. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Health Communication; Heart Disease and Stroke; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Robert and Sultan served as junior instructors at the Legacy Youth Tennis and Education (LYTE) National Junior Tennis League Summer Camp. Along with teaching tennis, Robert and Sultan served as mentors, role models and health educators, teaching about cardiovascular health, obesity and personal fitness, healthy eating, college planning, leadership training, social skills and productivity training. Sultan participated at a unique Legacy site where youth also participated in the Drexel University Lindy Scholars Program, which included games, arts and crafts, and swimming. Sultan noted, “Working this summer as part of the LYTE team has had a profound impact on my professional and personal development. … It has helped me to discover the various social disparities that exist in many inner-city areas as well as helped me appreciate the different social determinants that lead to various health problems. … Most importantly, this experience helped me to connect to my greater humanity and sense of service by giving me the opportunity to mentor the youth, attempt to bring the best out of them mentally, physically and spiritually … and help them to have a fun and healthy summer.” Robert stated, “I served as a tennis instructor to children at the Mander playground in North Philadelphia. I used the sport of tennis as a vehicle to convey information about cardiovascular health and the importance of exercise, while also improving skills and encouraging teamwork. I also served as a mentor and became good friends with the other junior instructors at my site, reflecting and providing guidance about college and postgraduate education. … I developed a stronger ability to communicate with children, and I believe that we established great relationships by the end of the summer.”

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I Can Be Anything I Want to Be

Student Interns:
Alissa Cerny, Temple University, School of Medicine
Justin LoBello, Temple University, School of Podiatric Medicine
Raman Nohria, Temple University, School of Medicine

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

Community Preceptor:
Doris Phillips, HERO (Helping Energize and Rebuild Ourselves) Community Center

The Community Site:
HERO (Helping Energize and Rebuild Ourselves) Community Center, in the Nicetown section of North Philadelphia, aims to help community members in need, especially children and seniors. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Health Communication; Injury and Violence Prevention; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Alissa, Justin and Raman planned and implemented daily activities for children and adolescents enrolled in summer camp at the HERO Community Center. The interns designed activities to highlight aspects of a healthy lifestyle. They encouraged self-expression through daily dance classes, journaling, and arts and crafts projects. Weekly trips to the Sun Circle Garden at 17th and Westmoreland Streets emphasized the importance of healthy eating habits. The interns also planned and implemented a series of interactive lessons to teach the campers the importance of practicing good oral health, and encouraged the campers to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle through daily sports and games as well as frequent trips to the local park. Alissa said, “Working with the children and staff at the HERO summer camp was an amazing experience. I started the summer focused on all the things I hoped to teach my campers, but by the end I was stunned to realize how much they had taught me. My time at HERO gave me a deep appreciation for the complexity of the Nicetown community.” Justin said, “I was pleasantly surprised with how fast the children at HERO became comfortable and open with me. … Even though I have previously worked as a counselor in both camp and after-school settings, working at HERO proved to be a completely unique and rewarding experience.” Raman said, “My summer experience was extremely important to me because I was able to listen to many North Philadelphia residents and hear their stories. I heard cries for support from young children; resilience and ambition from many single mothers; and, above all, a community making a conscious effort to forge a new identity. I feel that it is through continuing to listen to these stories that we can truly start to capture the essence of North Philadelphia. Before we can search for solutions to a community, we must first listen to the people within the community, for only they know their own needs.”

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Healthy Habits for a Healthy Life

Student Interns:
Nicole Enriquez, Bryn Mawr College, Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research
Laura Kranenburg, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing
Emily Wible, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Academic Preceptors:
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Maria Hervada-Page, MSS, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College
Ann L. O’Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CPNP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing

Community Preceptor:
Edna Reddick, Francis J. Myers Recreation Center

The Community Site:
Francis J. Myers Recreation Center, a program of the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department, is a youth achievement center offering affordable, fun and safe summer programming for children aged 2 to 14 in Southwest Philadelphia. On an ongoing basis, the recreation center engages in community outreach and support to help improve the lives of the neighborhood residents by providing meeting space for groups, lectures and a farmers market, among other things.

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Injury and Violence Prevention; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Nicole, Laura and Emily worked together to create a health education program for the Francis J. Myers Recreation Center’s Youth Program that focused on the entire body from head to toe. Sessions addressed the Healthy People 2010 focus areas listed above and emphasized the importance of establishing healthy habits through real-life examples, including cooking classes, oral hygiene lessons, and outdoor physical fitness activities. Nicole, Laura and Emily also participated in weekly field trips and designed a weekly science program for the children that explored planting, the five senses and fossils. Nicole reflected, “My experience working with BTG was an invaluable one, particularly because it exposed me to working with groups of preschool children. … It challenged me to utilize my knowledge of child development and provided me with the skills to educate and engage little ones just entering the world. I appreciated the flexibility that this placement afforded me, which allowed me to be creative and think outside of the box when developing lesson plans for the children. The other interns and I incorporated art, music, science experiments, cooking classes and gardening classes into our work, which the children and interns equally enjoyed.” Laura noted, “Working with BTG this summer has been an extraordinary experience in several ways. As a nursing student, it has opened my eyes to many other aspects of care that are all integral to overall health by seeing daily the work of my fellow interns. The hands-on experience I had each day at my community site and being able to develop lesson plans for children ranging in ages from 2½ to 13 years has challenged me and allowed me to step out of my comfort zone to gain truly valuable experiences I may not have had otherwise. The BTG summer program has allowed me to see how the work I am doing now translates to my future career as a nurse by emphasizing the importance of interdisciplinary care.” Emily said, “BTG has been an amazing experience. It has given me the unique opportunity to work with other health professionals toward a common goal—a healthy lifestyle. I have also enjoyed the rewarding but challenging experience of working with very young children—more specifically, I have learned the importance of flexibility in appropriately adapting lesson plans to match a particular age group. I am excited to take all the information I have gathered through my community site and the BTG seminars and apply them as I develop my career as a dentist. This has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get to know the community I will be serving during my dental school education, and only the beginning of my work in community oral health.”

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Happy and Healthy: Securing the Children’s Futures

Student Interns:
Ethan Goldstein, Drexel University College of Medicine
Kristina Greene, Drexel University College of Medicine
Tia Pyle, Drexel University College of Medicine
Elizabeth Ryan, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

Academic Preceptor:
Ellen Schelly-Hill, MMT, BA, BC-DMT, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

Community Preceptor:
John Jacobs, North Light Community Center

The Community Site:
The North Light Community Center, located in Manayunk, is a multi-service center that provides art and recreation programs as well as employment services and emergency support. During the summer, the center runs a full-day children’s camp during which the campers’ time is enriched through music, art and sports. North Light’s mission is to enable people of all ages and abilities in their communities, especially those most in need, to reach their full potential as productive and responsible citizens through initiatives that support and enrich children, teens and families. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Injury and Violence Prevention; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Ethan, Kristina, Tia and Elizabeth worked at the North Light Community Center’s Summer Camp. They planned and taught five lessons once a week to each of the four age groups (3 to 5, 6 and 7, 8 and 9, 10 to 12). The lessons addressed the Healthy People 2010 focus areas listed above. Through the use of interactive activities, posters, art and exercise, they introduced key health concepts they hoped would stick with the children and make an impact beyond camp. While not planning or teaching, the interns were placed in pairs with two age groups (Ethan and Elizabeth with the 6- and 7-year-olds and Tia and Kristina with the 10- to 12-year-olds). They worked closely with the others at the community center, developing relationships and learning from both the children and the staff. Ethan stated, “I came in with basic knowledge of how to talk to and interact with children. … What I have gained is patience, multitasking and an understanding of how to talk to kids of different age groups in both learning and playing environments. Each challenge I faced at North Light Community Center became a new opportunity for personal growth and learning how to overcome obstacles and challenges in my future.” Kristina noted, “Entering North Light from a structured year of school, I learned to be patient, understanding and flexible. Not only did the children impact my understanding of the social and monetary aspects of the community, but also they explained their dreams for the future, allowing for a better understanding of how community can shape one’s life. I am so thankful that I got to be a part of this learning and rewarding experience.” Tia reflected, “It’s been a pretty interesting summer at camp with the kids at North Light Community Center. At first I was just trying to observe the way the camp works and how the kids seem to function on a daily basis. … Learning how to be a friend but at the same time a mentor who deserves respect and in turn respects the kids has been a delicate balance that I have not achieved, but now understand better.” Elizabeth said, “I have had a truly amazing summer at North Light Community Center. … Seeing how different and yet how similar people can be despite coming from such diverse backgrounds, and seeing how we can use that to work together as a community, was eye-opening and inspiring. I learned a lot about patience and flexibility, but I also learned the importance of building strong relationships and that mutual trust and respect can go a long way.”

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Building Connections in a Safe Space

Student Interns:
William Hochgertel, Drexel University College of Medicine
Susan Krisch, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

Academic Preceptor:
Elizabeth Hartzell, PhD, ATR-BC, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

Community Preceptors:
Maria Tate, Women Against Abuse, Sojourner House
Valerie Whittaker, Women Against Abuse, Sojourner House

The Community Site:
The Sojourner House of Women Against Abuse (WAA) is a transitional housing program that provides family apartments (for up to 24 months) for women and their children who have been made homeless due to domestic violence. Supportive services include case management, group counseling, on-site child care, after-school programs, and parenting and life-skills education. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Heart Disease and Stroke; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Will and Susan worked with children aged 18 months to 13 years in Women Against Abuse Sojourner House’s youth summer day camp. With the preschool-aged children, they worked on basic literacy, communication, managing emotions and forming relationships. With the older children, they led activities and lessons that combined healthy habits and lifestyle, science, communication and the arts. Regular physical activity and play at a local park along with weekly field trips helped to facilitate learning and the building of strong, healthy relationships. Will said, “I feel like I learned so much while interacting with different members of the community. In addition, my ability to interact with children of all ages has developed more than ever. I am leaving this experience inspired by the people who devote their lives to working with people truly in need, and I hope to perform my job based on the example set by the staff at Women Against Abuse.” Susan stated, “I found myself consistently impressed with the depth of caring that the older children seemed to convey in their relationships and with their eagerness to learn and make connections. The children taught me about resilience, and that despite whatever pains they may have experienced in their past, they maintained enthusiasm, curiosity, love, hope and compassion. This experience supported my belief that with a supportive and safe space, people can grow towards their potential.”

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Surviving and Thriving

Student Interns:
Carmen Johnson, Drexel University School of Public Health
Kelsie Persaud, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor:
Mario Cruz, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Arlene Malcolm-Bell, PhD, Women Against Abuse

The Community Site:
Women Against Abuse (WAA) provides services to victims of domestic violence, including emergency housing for battered women and their children, legal services, hotline counseling, education and training, and advocacy. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
HeartDisease and Stroke; Injury and Violence Prevention; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
While interning at the Women Against Abuse Emergency Shelter, Carmen and Kelsie helped organize and run the Young Survivors Camp for children aged 5 to 17. The theme of the summer camp revolved around what it means to be healthy and how to live a healthy lifestyle. Lessons were taught on the importance of heart health, oral health, physical activity, nutrition, and emotional health and well-being. In addition, the interns chaperoned various field trips, such as visits to the Philadelphia Zoo, the Morris Arboretum and the Pennypack Environmental Center. The camp activities served to enrich the students’ everyday lives in the shelter as well as provide them with lessons they could take with them as they continue their path to a better life. Carmen reflected, “My experience with BTG and Women Against Abuse this summer has had a profound effect on me professionally as well as personally. BTG helped me to understand that there is a great need for health care professionals that understand that illness and disease are not only biologically but socially determined as well. It has shown me there is a great need for culturally competent providers that are committed to quality care and services to the underserved. Additionally, it has helped shape my goals as a future public health professional to provide trauma-informed care in a humble and caring way.” Kelsie noted, “Working at the Women Against Abuse Emergency Shelter has been such an influential yet humbling experience for me. Not only did I have an amazing time working with the kids in the camp, I also truly believe that this internship sparked a new passion in me to continue working with traumatized patient populations. I am grateful for the valuable skills I have acquired and the memorable lessons I have learned from working at a domestic violence shelter. It is rare for a medical student to be exposed so early in his/her training to such aunique group of women and children, and to have the opportunity to get to know them personally and help them is extremely humbling.”

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Self-Empowerment

Student Interns:
Michelle Chu, Temple University, Kornberg School of Dentistry
Ellen Houle, Temple University, College of Health Professions and Social Work, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Occupational Therapy Program
Jessica Rossi, Temple University, College of Health Professions and Social Work, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Occupational Therapy Program
Barno Zakhidova, Temple University, College of Health Professions and Social Work, Department of Nursing

Academic Preceptors:
Eliza Johnson, BS, Temple Health Connection
Nancy Rothman, EdD, RN, Temple University, College of Health Professions and Social Work, Department of Nursing

Community Preceptors:
Lisa Gass, Norris Homes, Norris Kids Camp
Monisha Jackson, Temple Health Connection

The Community Site:
Norris Kids, a summer camp for youth, is located at the Norris Homes Community Center in North Philadelphia and is supported by the Temple Health Connection. The six-week summer program is geared toward children aged 5 to 13.

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Environmental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness; Preparedness

The Project:
Michelle, Ellen, Jess and Barno planned a variety of activities for the youth who reside in the Norris Homes community and attended the Norris Kids summer camp. The goal of the health promotion activities was to build the youths’ confidence and encourage productive and respectful behaviors through the theme of self-empowerment. The lessons focused on physical fitness and nutrition and included fun activities such as dodge ball, volleyball, ping-pong, a Who Am I collage, cooking activities, arts and crafts, music activities, swimming and much more. Michelle said, “If I could summarize this summer internship into three words, they would be interesting, tiring and eye-opening. I’ve never worked with kids before, and being exposed to an environment with a lot of kids … brought a whole new light to my eyes. … I’ve become humbled and I’ve realized that it takes a lot of energy and time to change a person’s way of thinking, even a kid’s way of thinking. I will keep these experiences in my mind as I progress in my career field and be more aware of the way I approach my patients.” Ellen noted, “The BTG experience has significantly changed how I view the Philadelphia community. I am so much more connected and in tune with the issues that our communities face, and I also have an awareness for the many resources that can manage these issues. BTG gave me the experience to work with and learn from a culture very different from mine. I am so humbled and enlightened by the people I havehad the opportunity to work with!” Jess stated, “The BTG experience has been a great learning opportunity and has helped to shape my professional and personal development for the better. Even though our job was to assist in educating kids on health and fitness, I feel like the kids actually taught me so much more about how to be flexible, understanding and patient. I feel as if I am coming away from this experience more enlightened about the North Philly community.” Barno said, “I knew that this summer opportunity was going to be both educational and a fun experience. As I expected, it fulfilled my expectations and helped me to look at Philly neighborhoods from completely different lenses. I was able to accomplish my primary goals, which were to educate the kids on healthy lifestyle and learn or get experience on something new from kids or from the neighborhood. My other goal was to make sure that kids had fun during the summer camp. Fortunately, I was able to achieve my goals as well as have an awesome summer with the kids!”

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BTG 20 Years Video
BTG 20th Anniversary Tribute
"My internship … has affected me deeply. I have learned about the complexities of substance abuse and the struggles women face to remain clean. Working with a student from a discipline other than my own has helped me to view health issues from another perspective."
BTG Student Intern

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