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 - 2012

Adolescents & Young Adults

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Urban Blazers Summer 2012: Promoting Teamwork and Leadership Through Outdoor Exploration

Student Interns:
Louisa Bekker, Drexel University College of Medicine
Jeffrey Foster, Drexel University College of Medicine
Christopher Harmon, Drexel University College of Medicine
Laura Hunter, Drexel University School of Public Health

Academic Preceptor:
Benjamin Sanders, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Eric Dolaway, Urban Blazers
Danielle Stollak, Urban Blazers

The Community Site:
Urban Blazers is an innovative agency that uses primary, active experience to stimulate youth to become responsible for their development in education, leadership and relationships. The experiential education program uses socially motivated volunteers to meaningfully impact youth from under-resourced communities in Philadelphia. Programs are typically delivered through outdoor activities that serve as hands-on learning environments. View Community Partner Web Site

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

The Project:
At Urban Blazers, Louisa, Jeffrey, Christopher and Laura were responsible for leading groups of children and adolescents in activities facilitating team-building and leadership skills. These activities included team-oriented games and exploring Fairmount Park as a group. The premise behind the program is to bring individuals outside of their normal environments so that they have a chance to build their sense of adventure, curiosity and respect for nature and the people around them. The interns aimed to provide each child with an experience that was rewarding, challenging and fun, and that allowed the youth to build interpersonal and leadership skills. Through games and hiking trips, the interns were able to encourage teamwork and instill the importance of community within the youth groups while at the same time creating a new level of confidence in each child. Louisa noted, “My summer at Urban Blazers has taught me many skills for fostering leadership and teamwork in groups of kids through a variety of outdoor activities. In the process of learning how to instill confidence and respect in the kids we work with, I have been internalizing for myself many of the skills we want to see our kids develop. Whether picking berries to eat on the trail or clambering up rocks with several 11-year-olds in tow, I’ve watched their faces show how much it means for us to simply be present as role models with genuine care and enthusiasm. Philly needs more programs like this.” Jeffrey stated, “My time [with Urban Blazers] has helped me … establish a personal connection to what I have been learning about in respect to social justice and public health issues. This has strengthened my resolve and reaffirmed why I want to become a physician someday. Most importantly, my time with Urban Blazers helped me to establish bonds with people of different backgrounds, and emphasized the fact that we, as people, are all very similar despite those differences.” Chris commented, “This summer at Urban Blazers has been such a great summer for me not only for all the positive things it has done for the kids, but for me as well. I have gained an appreciation for how adventurous, kind and resilient the children that we worked with are. They have inspired me to be more open to new experiences and to work on leadership and teamwork in my own life. I hope that both the kids and I will carry what we have learned from Urban Blazers this summer into the future.” Laura reflected, “As a future public health professional, BTG was an eye-opening and important experience that will enable me to be more effective in my career. I am aware of many statistics and social problems around the city and low-income areas in general, but this Urban Blazers position allowed me to see the people that I have been studying in class. It placed a human face to the numbers and data that I have researched, and I now have built relationships with individuals in communities all around the Philadelphia area. Each individual is unique and everyone has their own story, and I really appreciate having the opportunity to interact with so many special people this summer who taught me more than I could have taught them.”

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Working for Change: Philly High School Students Address STI and Violence Concerns in Their Communities

Student Interns:
Caroline Fortin, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice
Wenting Guo, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Academic Preceptors:
Zvi D. Gellis, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Community Preceptors:
Jacqui Bowman, PhD, College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Jon Goff, 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 Teva Program, both of which focus on the personal and professional development of Philadelphia high school students. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Health Communication; HIV; Immunization; Injury and Violence Prevention; Responsible Sexual Behavior

The Project:
Wendy (Wenting) and Caroline worked with the College of Physicians of Philadelphia staff and 13 high school students in the Teva Summer Internship program, which focused on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and violence education and prevention in Philadelphia communities. The program’s activities included workshops; writing and filming public service announcements about human papillomavirus (HPV); field trips to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, local gardens and community building projects; and resource gathering. Wendy and Caroline assisted in the various program activities, compiled lessons on STIs, developed pre- and post-evaluations of the program, chaperoned trips, and hosted lunchtime discussions. Outside of the Teva program, Wendy and Caroline contributed to a variety of other projects within the College such as the History of Vaccines Web site and a graduate student/young professional membership initiative. Caroline reflected, “I had the privilege of working with an incredible group of high school students and a supportive staff in the Teva program this summer. We used storytelling to discuss violence and health concerns in the students’ communities all over Philadelphia, which proved to be extremely powerful for both the students and staff. The numerous accounts of trauma, violence and fear that our students shared have reinforced my commitment to social justice and reminded me of the importance of sharing, listening and being heard in the process of change. My conversations with my partner … and with our students about their neighborhoods and aspirations after high school are stories that have taught me as much as any that arose from our curriculum. The BTG program has exposed me to so many ideas and voices throughout the city of Philadelphia, and I am grateful to have been a part of this initiative for positive change in our city.” Wendy noted, “This is a precious opportunity for me to learn about the city through the eyes of 13 bright high school students at the College of Physicians. I have researched about violence in the city and its neighborhoods to prepare for the program, but it never touched me this much until I heard their personal stories. It amazed me how they embraced the hardships from their childhood experiences and channeled them into a desire for better. This program has allowed me to share my knowledge of health prevention with this talented group and to gain a better understanding for what issues really impact teenagers in Philadelphia nowadays. It has been a valuable and rewarding experience for me to help the teens to realize their potential and find support from each other. Being in this interdisciplinary team, I have gained confidence and skills working with the adolescent population, which will have a profound impact on the rest of my professional training and career.”

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Philadelphia Futures Entrepreneurship/Business Planning

Student Interns:
Andrew Harrison, Temple University, School of Medicine
Thu Nguyen, Temple University, Kornberg School of Dentistry

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

Community Preceptors:
Jon Scott, Temple University, Fox School of Business
Emil Steiner, Temple University

The Community Site:
The goal of the Philadelphia Futures Entrepreneurship/Business Planning Internship is to improve the quality of education for high school students in Philadelphia. By playing a major part in the students’ lives Philadelphia Futures hopes to break down economic and social barriers to their education success. The Entrepreneurship/Business Planning Internship assists students in developing a business mind-set and allows them to develop a business plan. View Community Partner Web Site

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

The Project:
Andrew and Thu worked with the staff of the Philadelphia Futures Entrepreneurship/Business Planning Internship on a program that helped rising high school juniors integrate intense writing with basic business critical thinking. In the writing class, the interns composed daily quizzes that assessed the adolescents’ understanding of various Internet articles that highlighted the concept of starting and running a business. Also, Andrew and Thu ensured that the youth had a good understanding of the different aspects of business such as marketing, finance and systems management. Lastly, they tutored the youth so that they could improve their overall writing and bring it closer to a college level. Thu noted, “Mentoring and tutoring the students on their business writing proved to be the most enriching summer experience. … Encouraging the youth to advance their business creativity and to hone their writing skills was the perfect combination.” Andrew said, “I honestly didn’t expect to get much out of teaching a writing class, but I was wrong, to say the least. I think I learned just as much as the youth did—maybe not about writing, but about thinking outside the box and the value of collaborating with others in order to reach a common goal.”

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Adolescent Health, Fitness and Nutrition

Student Interns:
Taryn Bornstein, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Joseph Springer, 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 Preceptors:
Bil Beverly, EducationWorks, Germantown High School Project
Todd Matte, EducationWorks, Germantown High School Project
Eric Williamson, EducationWorks

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

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:
Joe and Taryn partnered with EducationWorks to teach health, fitness and nutrition topics to high school students at Germantown High School. The interns developed a curriculum focused on the effects of various foods, substances and exercises on each body system. The high school students were engaged through active learning techniques that emphasized the importance of endocrine, pulmonary, renal and cardiovascular well-being. Additionally, open discussions were held regarding sexual, oral and mental health. Each week, the adolescents utilized the knowledge acquired in class to effect a change in the local community. Furthermore, the teens gained life and career skills such as public speaking, budgeting and resume writing to help them prepare for future endeavors. Taryn noted, “Working with students … has given me insight into the challenges that inner-city teachers and students face on a daily basis. The lack of funding and resources were the largest obstacles to overcome, but with creative thinking and interactive lessons, I believe we successfully taught the students that education is the foundation of a healthy and successful future.” Joe commented, “It was truly a privilege teaching about health, fitness and nutrition at Germantown High School this summer. While the past weeks certainly had their ups and downs, I found the experience to be very rewarding. I am proud of everything that both my colleagues and students have accomplished this summer, and I am happy to have helped make a difference in the lives of the youth.”

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South Philadelphia High School Health and Fitness Summer Camp

Student Interns:
Gustavo Gomez, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College
Brian Rowan, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Academic Preceptors:
Rickie Brawer, PhD, MPH, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
James D. Plumb, MD, MPH, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

Community Preceptors:
Kyle Grier, EducationWorks, South Philadelphia High School Program
Latori William-Anderson, EducationWorks, South Philadelphia High School Program
Eric Williamson, EducationWorks

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 South Philadelphia High School. 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:
Brian and Gustavo collaborated with the EducationWorks staff at South Philadelphia High School to create and deliver a health and fitness curriculum for adolescents aged 15 to 18. Through lectures, debates, field trips, group activities and discussions, the youth gained a deeper understanding of health. The adolescents were exposed to 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. Each day, the youth engaged in an hour-long INSANITY® workout, followed by journal time, a group lesson and about an hour of gym time. Along with a focus on health, the summer program emphasized 21st century job skills, including technological competence, public speaking and teamwork. Gustavo noted, “This BTG experience has by far been the best job I have ever had. I not only learned about the barriers and inequities people face, but I was given a chance to actually work with youth. … Over the course of the summer, I saw the students grow in many ways. The shy students spoke up more, all of them became more physically fit, and they all began to think seriously about their futures. Seeing these changes was personally very fulfilling. In terms of professional development, I gained valuable leadership and team-building skills, as well as teaching skills.” Brian commented, “On the surface, this program revolved around health and physical fitness, but its impact can be felt on a much broader horizon. The students learned about what they think success means in their future lives and, more importantly, the steps they need to map out in order to reach these goals and aspirations. However, I feel as though I have learned more this summer from the students than they have learned from me. … Often with the odds stacked up against them and barriers put in place by society, these students want to better themselves and their community. These students have shown great perseverance and have given me a positive outlook for their futures. … Lastly, it has allowed me to collaborate with people very different from myself and foster a greater appreciation of diversity.”

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Strengthening North Philadelphia’s Youth for Future Success

Student Interns:
Stephanie Dong, Temple University, School of Medicine
Vaishnavi Mangeshkumar, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Brianna McMahon, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Daniel Mecozzi, Temple University, School of Medicine
Visheshkumar Patel, Temple University, College of Health Professions and Social Work, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Occupational Therapy Program

Academic Preceptors:
Joanne Muir Behm, MSS, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Dianne Butera, MSW, Temple University, School of Medicine
Eugene Mochan, DO, PhD, FACOFP, College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptors:
Jacques Louis, MSEd, Allegheny West Foundation
Julie Moore, MHR, Allegheny West Foundation
Robin Torrence, MEd, Allegheny West Foundation

The Community Site:
The mission ofthe 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

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; Preparedness

The Project:
At the Allegheny West Foundation (AWF), Stephanie, Vaishnavi, Brianna, Daniel and Visheshkumar participated in activities that encouraged the youth participating in the summer program to make healthy lifestyle choices and succeed in their educational and career endeavors. The interns worked with nearly 90 high school or recently graduated students enrolled in the Philadelphia Youth Network’s WorkReady Summer Program. Through various small group discussions, workshops and activities, the interns focused on the following topics: teen obesity, diabetes, heart health, career exploration, professionalism and work readiness skills. Specifically, an educational field trip to the Mütter Museum, a health and nutritional literacy workshop, and individual and panel mock interviews all proved particularly effective in exposing the students to new opportunities. Stephanie stated, “This summer, working with the Allegheny West Foundation through BTG has given me the invaluable opportunity … to learn about the North Philadelphia community, in ways that would never have been possible during the school year. … Working with the youth was challenging at times, but was an eye-opening experience as well. It taught me the power of sincerity, and what we may really need in order to reach out to someone.” Vaishnavi noted, “BTG impacted my professional development by allowing me to work with an interdisciplinary team in an effort to engage the community with health-related workshops and discussions. Additionally, the core curriculum days taught me more about the social determinants of health and how to work with an adolescent population. I am humbled to have had the opportunity to interact with North Philadelphia community youth, a patient population similar to that I ultimately aim to serve as a pediatrician. Finally, the BTG experience impacted my personal development by reminding me that weekly reflections are integral to keeping daily challenges and successes in perspective.” Brianna commented, “BTG has been a phenomenal experience. I have had the opportunity to work with incredible community leaders and amazing high school students. To me this was not only a summer job, but a chance to understand the population that I will be serving in the future. Getting to know my students on a personal level and hearing their stories will unquestionably make me a more compassionate and culturally aware physician.” Daniel said, “I came into BTG apprehensive. How in the world could I connect with high school students that seem so different than me? Although it was challenging to engage the students at times, their great curiosity was encouraging, and it was an amazing feeling to hear their appreciation. … What surprised me most were their poignant questions. The insight they gave me into the challenges and struggles they have faced and overcome was an invaluable experience of my summer working with high school students in North Philadelphia.” Visheshkumar noted, “The Allegheny West Foundation provided me with my very first opportunity to work with adolescents in the capacity of a mentor. The positive response from the student population has made me consider expanding my area of practice beyond adults and geriatrics to include teenagers as well. … As an aspiring occupational therapist this change in thinking aligns with the client-centered approach embedded in my profession helping people lead meaningful lives. Lastly, collaborating with other health professionals with different approaches, mind-set, methodology and values has given me a glimpse of what to expect when working in the multidisciplinary world of health care.”

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Philadelphia Futures: A Bridge to College

Student Interns:
Christine Holt, Drexel University, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems
Zachary Quinn, Drexel University College of Medicine
Jane Steinemann, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor:
Priscilla Killian, MSN, RN, MHPNP, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions

Community Preceptor:
Charmayne Thompson, Philadelphia Futures

The Community Site:
Philadelphia Futures, a union of White-Williams Scholars and Philadelphia Futures, provides academic and social resources for high-potential, economically disadvantaged, college-bound students in the Philadelphia school district. It provides low-income students who are the first generation in their families to attend college with rigorous academic programs and resources to support them through high school and college. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Environmental Health; Mental Health

The Project:
Christine, Zachary and Jane assisted in college-preparatory summer enrichment programs covering a wide range of topics, from environmental studies to history and urban planning. In addition, the interns worked as teaching assistants in a two-week intensive seminar for the scholars on the college application process. Christine said, “Assisting my students during their introduction and exploration of scientific research has been an honor. I am grateful for every opportunity and experience that I have been privileged to partake in this summer. This experience has motivated me to constantly seek challenges that impact society and aid in finding solutions.” Zachary noted, “Understanding the impact that mentorship has on an adolescent’s life is the biggest concept that I will take with me from this experience. When given the support that they needed, the students flourished and demonstrated abilities not previously shown. As a physician, I will be in a position to provide assistance to my patients. This assistance, I now realize, can extend beyond the doctor’s office. I can advocate for success simply by being open to my patients’ thoughts and nurturing their confidence.” Jane reflected, “Working as a teacher’s assistant at Philadelphia Futures has … provided some unexpected and really critical career training, as there are many parallels between teaching students and counseling patients. For instance, through developing lesson plans that were engaging and appropriate for my students, I began to consider ways to tailor patient counseling to make it accessible to each unique patient. Other teaching lessons also translated to being a doctor, such as learning how to be an effective advocate, devising ways to motivate students/patients, and determining techniques to encourage students or patients to seriously consider and implement your recommendations.”

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Multimodal Approach to Building Resiliency Strategies and Medical Advocacy in a Temporary Shelter Serving At-Risk Adolescents

Student Interns:
Christine Y. Chang, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College
Owokunile Otubusin, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

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

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

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

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Access to Health Care; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Physical Activity and Fitness; Responsible Sexual Behavior

The Project:
This summer, Christine and Owokunile worked alongside the residents at Youth Emergency Service (YES) to build sustainable resilience strategies. These strategies ranged from personal development and goal-setting activities to education on advocating for one’s own medical care. They also worked with the youth care staff to promote overall health through nutrition, exercise and linking residents to appropriate medical services, with the hope that even after Bridging the Gaps was over, the residents and staff would continue to incorporate all that was introduced during the summer into their lives. Christine noted, “This summer has opened my eyes to how incomplete the picture of a patient is when a physician sees him/her during an appointment. It has also revealed to me some of the barriers facing an adolescent when accessing care. With this knowledge, as a physician, I hope to make sure not only to diagnose patients but also to advocate for their complete and proper care. At YES, I have also had the honor of hearing many survival stories. The residents’ experiences have shown me the resilience of the human spirit and will, no doubt, impact the sensitivity with which I will listen to my future patients.” Owokunile commented, “This summer, I learned about community-based advocacy from all aspects, including the physician, social worker, client and legal aspect. … It amazes me how resilient these at-risk youth are in their seemingly tough situations. The shelter exposed me to the magnitude of problems in my community and showed me how much more needs to be done in my community.”

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Healthy Lifestyles: Bodies Under Construction, Minds on a Mission

Student Interns:
Mallorie Hoover, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Anne Hutchinson, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Palak Sutaria, University of the Sciences, Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program

Academic Preceptors:
Joanne Muir Behm, MSS, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Mary Kate McGinty, RPh, MS, University of the Sciences
Eugene Mochan, DO, PhD, FACOFP, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Anthony Singleton, John Bartram High School

The Community Site:
John Bartram High School, located in Southwest Philadelphia, provides a summer bridge program to help incoming ninth-graders transition to life in high school. The program incorporates information about healthy lifestyles and wellness education into the curriculum. 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; Substance Abuse

The Project:
Annie, Mallorie and Palak joined the staff of John Bartram High School’s Summer Bridge Program to educate and enable the youth participating in the program to improve their lifestyles by making healthy food choices and incorporating fitness into their daily lives. The interns accomplished this through biweekly cooking classes, daily physical activities and weekly supplemental lessons on improving social competence. The youth were exposed to lessons on nutrition, food labels and heart health as well as peer pressure and maintaining healthy relationships. After the program, the students compiled the recipes and, as a class, created a final cookbook titled “Quick Recipes for a Healthier Lifestyle.” Annie noted, “Working at John Bartram has opened my eyes to the multitudes of challenges faced by Philadelphia’s youth. Not only are there struggles in daily school activities, but maintaining a healthy body and a sound mind is an additional challenge when taking into account the socioeconomic status of Southwest Philadelphia. Understanding the adversity that faces vulnerable populations is crucial to my future career in primary care medicine, and, in particular, the health care for adolescents.” Palak said, “The experience at Bartram High School … provided me with an opportunity to glimpse into the lives of adolescents of Philadelphia. It was truly an eye-opening experience that has taught me far more than any textbook or a classroom would have done. It has helped me broaden my horizons and has made me aware of certain realities of life. This experience will be a benchmark which I will reflect upon as I continue with my education and work.” Mallorie reflected, “To say that working at John Bartram High School for the duration of BTG was enlightening would be an understatement. Observing the effects of poor health care and poor access to food, as well as the effects of cultural norms on health, has provided me with a pivotal understanding of life in Southwest Philadelphia. A firsthand understanding of the adversity that faces the adolescents, the future leaders of our country, is crucial to my future.”

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Summer Work Ready Program

Student Interns:
Anjali Bal, Drexel University College of Medicine
Maranatha Stephany Gabaud, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor:
Anthony Rodriguez, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Jacinto Grant, MSW, The Attic Youth Center

The Community Site:
The Attic Youth Center, located in Center City Philadelphia, strives to create opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth and their allies to develop into creative, healthy, independent and civic-minded adults. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Access to Health Care; HIV; Mental Health; Physical Activity and Fitness; Responsible Sexual Behavior

The Project:
At the Attic, Anjali and Stephany worked with Philadelphia public high school students to create tool kits addressing the needs of LGBT students. The interns worked with six small groups, each of which created a tool kit to be used as a resource by teachers and school administrators to increase the safety and visibility of LGBT students in schools. The tool kits consisted of various media, including art and video. Anjali stated, “BTG has provided me with an incredible learning experience and the opportunity to grow as a person and future physician. My time working at the Attic Youth Center has taught me a lot about working with adolescents, and the experience has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I hope that my time with BTG has not only increased my awareness of LGBTQ issues but has also made me more capable of working with populations from all types of backgrounds.” Stephany noted, “I had a wonderful experience working with LGBT students and allies, facilitating groups who created a tool kit designed to increase the visibility of LGBT students in schools. Working at the Attic has … given me some insight into the needs of the LGBT community that I would not have otherwise known.”

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Out of School Time at Wagner

Student Interns:
Laura Belden, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Morgan Booher, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Rori Dajao, Temple University, College of Medicine
Richard Kaufman, Temple University, School of Podiatric Medicine

Academic Preceptors:
Joanne Muir Behm, MSS, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Dianne Butera, MSW, Temple University, School of Medicine
Eugene Mochan, DO, PhD, FACOFP, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptors:
Brandon Fitzgerald, Institute for the Development of African American Youth (IDAAY), Out of School Time, Wagner Middle School
Deborah Thomas, Institute for the Development of African American Youth (IDAAY), Out of School Time, Wagner Middle School

The Community Site:
The Institute for the Development of African American Youth (IDAAY) Out of School Time (OST) at Wagner Middle School offers education/training, prevention/intervention and social service programs that are uniquely designed to equip youth to combat deeply rooted social ills endemic to the urban experience; encourage youth to view their well-being as critical in their development, and as a catalyst for family unity and community change; engage youth in positive thinking and communication activities to help them see challenges as opportunities; and empower youth to become part of the solution in their community through knowledge, skills development and self-awareness. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Environmental Health; Heart Disease and Stroke; Infant and Child Health; Injury and Violence Prevention; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Laura, Morgan, Rori and Richard worked with the staff at the Institute for the Development of African American Youth (IDAAY) OST program at Wagner Middle School. They crafted a summer curriculum based on sustainability, holistic health and becoming a respectable leader of the community. The interns taught youth to reduce, reuse and recycle through problem-based learning modules. They engaged youth in extensive extracurricular activities involving beginner and advanced sports, swimming, a splash challenge, yard games, dance, and arts and crafts. In addition, the interns organized club-based educational activities that taught youth to think analytically, lead and respect their peers. Laura noted, “Through serving as a mentor and educator … I learned the importance of youth empowerment and became more appreciative of the positive and reciprocal impact individuals can have on one another. I was honored to be a part of the BTG program, and the OST program specifically, and am looking forward to continuing to implement the social and cultural lessons I learned throughout the summer into my future practice as a physician.” Morgan stated, “I am thankful for this BTG experience, not only for the opportunity to work with children, but for the exposure to a demographic different than my own. … I have come to appreciate the challenges children face while growing up in Philadelphia. I will take away this new appreciation for urban culture and hopefully apply it as a future physician.” Rori noted, “This was a very enlightening summer for me, as a medical student and as the father of a young child. Working with adolescents this summer has given me a glimpse into a future patient population, and given me skills to use as a physician in North Philadelphia. I’ve also received valuable insight into the struggles and rewards of being the parent of an adolescent.” Richard said, “The BTG program was an incredible experience … that changed my personal perspective of the lives and communities in North Philadelphia. As I spend time in the future developing my professional career … teaching youth and assuming a leadership role will forever change the way I not only practice, but also live on a day-to-day basis. The amount of lessons I learned this summer were both countless and priceless. I felt like I have truly ‘bridged the gaps’ on a professional, personal and cultural level—something which I am forever grateful for.”

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"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."
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