This application requests funding to empower high school students with the tools to become active participants in their own health and to advocate for improved health at the community level. The Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy (VTTMAA), a magnet high school in Baltimore City, and the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore will prepare potential future health professionals with the skills to advocate for better health at a personal, family and community level. It is the goal of the HS/HSL to expand its role in improving health by developing an innovative model program that focuses on building health advocacy skills beginning in high school and lasting a life time.
The first aim of the project focuses on building capacity/skills by empowering high school students to be community health advocates. Twelve students during year 1 and year 2 will commit to the project. During the fall and spring semester, students will spend two hours each week at HS/HSL attending instructional sessions on topics designed to teach them about addressing health disparities, including information about health literacy, locating appropriate and reliable health information, medical terminology, cultural competency, leadership skills, interview skills, and navigating the health care system. As an incentive, students will be financially supported to participate in the program.
The second aim of the project is to promote improved health in Baltimore neighborhoods by designing student-initiated activities and outreach events relevant to the needs of the communities in Baltimore. Students will be given hands-on support in using PowerPoint and in designing and delivering a professional presentation. The capstone events of this aim will be poster presentations and interviews designed by the students to address a particular health disparity.
The third aim of the project is to develop a replicable student health advocacy program that can be used by community- academic partnerships nationwide. A toolkit highlighting the program and best practices will be created. Sections include content in Program Development, Teaching Resources, Student Projects and Share Your Experiences.
University of Maryland, Baltimore's Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) and the Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy, a magnet high school in Baltimore City, will collaborate on a project to prepare potential future health professionals with the skills to advocate for better health at a personal, family and community level. The first aim is to build capacity/skills by empowering high school students as community health advocates. The second aim focuses on student health advocates and HS/HSL program staff promoting improved health by designing student- initiated activities and outreach events in communities throughout Baltimore. The final aim of the project is to develop a replicable student health advocacy program that can be used by community- academic partnerships nationwide to sustain the project.