Gaining Options: Girls Investigate Real Life through Health related STEM Disciplines Significance. Health care system received greater attention. Efforts to reduce health disparities continue to be surrounded with controversy. While political battles continue to be fought at the highest levels, members of disadvantaged social groups such as the poor, racial/ethnic minorities, women, or other groups who have persistently experienced social disadvantage or discrimination continue to experience substandard health and/or greater health risks than more advantaged social groups. The representation of diverse populations in health related STEM disciplines, health professions, and ability to eliminate disparities in the quality and availability of health care for underserved populations. Objective and Approach. Our proposed intervention focuses specifically on high school girls, and in particular on girls of color. Our long-term objective is to increase the number of girls entering college from the Detroit Metropolitan area with both the capacity and the intent to pursue STEM related health disciplines and to contribute to our national understanding of how to remedy and mitigate the barriers faced by underrepresented students. To achieve this objective we will employ Summer Academies, Academic Year Cafis, for girls and parents and Continuous Mentoring Support through social networking sites and current technology to accomplish the following aims;1) Increase and Sustain Engagement of High School Girls in health related STEM disciplines;2) Build Capacity to Pursue STEM Disciplines by increasing high Ao-dge of the personal and academic skills necessary for college admission in STEM related health fields 3) Provide Continuity throughout High School by connecting high school girls to role models and mentors in health related STEM disciplines. Innovation. The proposed intervention is creative and innovative for several reasons. First and foremost, Gaining Options: Girls Investigate Real Life through Health related STEM Disciplines is not a single dose intervention strategy but rather a systematic support system. Second, our project will bring together a well qualified team of faculty, staff and students from across the Wayne State University Campus. Third, we will target not only girls in grades 8-12, but also provide support for parents. Fourth, we will cap current technology to build peer support, mentoring, and social support from undergraduate preceptors to sustain momentum during the academic year after. Environment. University, Wayne State occupies a unique niche as a catalyst for investigating and helping to resolve myriad issues facing residents of the contemporary urban environment and is therefore well suited for our proposed intervention. Overall Impact. The impact of the proposal lies in the recruitment of under-represented populations, particularly African-Americans and girls, to health related STEM activities;and the promise for future dissemination and scalability.
Our proposal is relevant to public health because it will (1) increase the number of girls entering college from the Detroit Metropolitan area with both the capacity and the intent to pursue STEM related majors en route to careers in health disciplines, thus working towards a generation of health professionals that is more reflective of the national racial and ethnic demographic;and (2) to contribute to our national understanding of how to remedy and mitigate the barriers faced by underrepresented students - ultimately providing a clear pathway to STEM disciplines for all students.