Philadelphia Consortium Projects - 2019

Adolescents & Young Adults

Strengthening Community Partnerships in Health, Education and Teen Advocacy in North Philadelphia

Student Interns: 
Esther Henry, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy
Parastou Azadeh Ranjbar, Drexel University College of Medicine

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

Community Preceptors:
Mary Green, MSN, BSN, RN, Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services
Marta Lynch, Teens 4 Good, FNC Philly
Lidyvez Sawyer, MPH, Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services

Community Site: 
The Sandra and Stephen Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University is a community health center that uses a transdisciplinary approach to primary care, behavioral health, dental care, and health and wellness programs to provide services to thousands of adults in the North Philadelphia area. Care delivery is based on the principles of the Sanctuary Model, introduced by Dr. Sandra Bloom, in which adults and children have a single point of access for care that addresses both the physiological and psychosocial aspects of the person and family. View Community Partner Web Site

This summer, 11th Street Family Health Services partnered with a nearby neighborhood youth program through FNC Teens 4 Good, which offers a teen employment readiness program at an urban farm located at 811 Poplar Street. Teens are hired to learn agricultural skills and are educated on-site in a variety of disciplines, including health and professional skill development. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020): 
Access to Healthcare; Educational Advancement/Literacy; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Preparedness.

Project: 
The Bridging the Gaps student interns worked with Teens 4 Good at the neighborhood urban farm in order to strengthen the partnership between FNC and 11th Street Family Health Services and to connect the teens and their families to resources and services available at the clinic. The interns implemented lesson plans on healthy eating, mindfulness, ACE scoresand music therapy. They brought the teens to the 11th Street clinic to make healthy meals in the kitchen using fresh produce from the farm and to explore the music therapy room, where they made music and learned more about creative arts therapy. The interns drafted a proposal to start a mentorship program at 11th Street’s Community Resource Room, where teens from the community can come to receive help with résumé building, college applications, tutoring and more.

Intern Statements:
Esther Henry: “One of the most impactful experiences I have had during this internship has been learning to work with community partners in different disciplines. We may all have different goals and priorities, but we can find the intersections between those and learn how to work and collaborate together as a team. Even if there are disagreements along the way, through discussion and having an open mind, you can see the perspectives of others to better understand their approach. Interdisciplinary collaboration is crucial in developing an effective plan of action to work towards community engagement.”

Parastou Azadeh Ranjbar: “Words can’t quite describe my experiences this summer and all that I have learned. I came into this summer with the hopes of understanding more about the lived experiences of some of my fellow Philadelphia community members. As a medical student, it is easy to stick to a routine centered around our studies, and we seldom leave our bubble during the academic year. As an aspiring clinician, I hope to serve as a pillar of strength for my patients, and to be successful and foster trust, I need to be exposed to the diverse challenges that directly and indirectly impact the health and safety of each of my patients. In essence, being a well-read physician is only half the battle. As an intern, I became a member of the community I was serving. My coworkers and the adolescents of the FNC program became my teachers, and the magnitude of knowledge they instilled in me surpasses anything I could have learned while in the classroom. Esther and I saw firsthand the potential benefits of strengthening the ties between community programs in North Philly. By quite literally 'bridging the gaps' among Drexel University’s students, 11th Street Family Clinic, and the Teens 4 Good participants, we can make room for a community-based mentorship program that works toward improving healthcare access and advocacy. No one is better equipped to identify areas of untapped potential and implement lasting change within the community than its own young adults. The hope is to create a program that will persist long after we graduate. Thinking of how much I can still learn and contribute is the most exciting and humbling part of the BTG experience.”

 

 

Increasing College Accessibility for Philadelphia's Future

Student Interns:
Daniel Albrecht, Drexel University College of Medicine
Jake Figaniak, Drexel University College of Medicine
Kendyl Schreiber, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor: 
Blair Dickinson, MD, MS, FAAP, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine

Community Preceptors: 
Jerilynn Aquino, Philadelphia Futures
Jonathan Edwards, Philadelphia Futures

Community Site: 
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 will be 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 (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020): 
Educational Advancement/Literacy; Environmental Health; Mental Health; Preparedness; Tobacco Use.

Project: 
The Bridging the Gaps student interns helped teach summer classes organized by Philadelphia Futures to prepare students to begin college. Interns created a curriculum to develop the students’ ability to manage their own mental health problems as well as the problems of their peers. Students acquired skills to navigate conversation about emotion and learned about relevant topics in substance abuse, including tobacco, e-cigarettes and the opioid crisis. Finally, using a harm-reduction approach, the interns offered advice and lessons from their experience in college on topics such as managing relationships around drinking culture and exposure to drugs.

Intern Statements: 
Daniel Albrecht: “I was drawn to this program to gain experience working with adolescent populations. What I gained was real insight into what it is like not just to be a teen in Philadelphia, but the capacity to reconnect with my own experiences in high school and the thoughts, concerns and priorities that are fundamental to these years. I have been repeatedly impressed by the students’ ability to reflect and introspect into the roles they assume as they become adults in an increasingly interconnected and diverse world. It is particularly important to gain trust and demonstrate honest compassion in order to win the trust of a skeptical teen, but this vital skill is something I am much more prepared to do in the future, thanks to the work I’ve gotten to do this summer.”

Jake Figaniak: “Working with the students of Philadelphia Futures this summer has been an incredible learning experience for me. I have strengthened my skills of working with adolescents as well as mentorship and communication skills. Philadelphia Futures deepened my understanding of the barriers that first-generation and economically disadvantaged students may face and reinvigorated my passion for education and serving others.”

Kendyl Schreiber: “The students I have spent this summer with continue to surprise and humble me. Having the opportunity to hear some of their stories, their opinions on world issues, and their hopes for the future has helped me to understand those who come from a different background than me. I was able to see some of the barriers they face as first-generation students and strengthen my own skills in teaching and communication. I know I will continue to reflect on my time at Philadelphia Futures as I gain more experience working with adolescents in the future.”

 

 

"Our Work Is Our Signature" — Foodways and Farming in the Southwest Community

Student Interns: 
Jaclyn Camus, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine 
Emma Claire Fontenot, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Academic Preceptors: 
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine 
Brittany T. Watson, MS, VMD, PhD, DACVPM, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine

Community Preceptor: 
Ty Holmberg, Farm at Bartram’s Garden

Community Site: 
The Sankofa Community Farm is a 4-acre located at Bartram’s Garden in Southwest Philadelphia. The farm is dedicated to increasing access to fresh, nutritious food for the surrounding communities and to creating a space where people can deepen their relationships with each other, their land and food. The farm runs weekly farm stands, rentals of community garden beds, and seasonal youth internship programs and produces 15,000 pounds of organic food each year using traditional farming methods. The many varieties of staple vegetables and fruits grown include a number of traditional African vegetables. Through the PHS City Harvest Program, the farm also distributes roughly 80,000 vegetable transplants to more than 130 farms and gardens around Philadelphia. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020): 
Educational Advancement/Health Literacy; Environmental Health; Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status.

Project: 
As staff members of the summer youth program at the Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram’s Garden, the Bridging the Gaps student interns led groups of youth through four different weekly stations centered on the major duties related to running the farm. These stations included traditional farm work, processing and marketing produce for sale, cooking with farm-grown ingredients, and a variety of special projects involving carpentry and facility upkeep. The interns assisted in Sankofa’s goal to create a spiritually rooted environment by practicing natural agriculture, honoring ancestors and cultural practices, and forming relationships with the land and the people working on it. Interns assisted with and presented weekly lessons dedicated to self-reliance in food sovereignty, wellness and health, farm planning, knife skills and cooking hygiene, nutrition, and oral health.

Intern Statements:
Jaclyn Camus: “At the beginning of this summer, I was not sure what new skills and impact my experience would have on me, and I feel I will see these things appear more vividly throughout my career. I’ve developed a sense of consciousness of my land, its contents and its history. I’ve learned about various foodways and cultures and their overall effect on health and well-being. This summer brought me out of my medical bubble and reminded me how to communicate and form relationships with my community. The Sankofa Farm has allowed me to connect with the resilient, amazing people in Southwest Philadelphia, which I will always cherish and carry with me.”

Emma Claire Fontenot: “Bridging the Gaps has been a truly insightful, uplifting and eye-opening experience that will forevermore shape my approach to serving the needs of my patients and connecting with my community wherever that may be in my future dental profession. Not only do I hope to have positively impacted the lives of all those who I encountered this summer, but I am also confident that this experience was just as impactful on me. The tangible aspect of farming, the deep relationships fostered with the youth and the land, and the connections made with ancestors of all types empowered me to enrich the Southwest Philadelphia community on a deeper level than I ever thought imaginable. We tackled the topics of race, culture, wellness, and professionalism on a daily basis, and my learning experience remained at a continuous fast pace. Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram’s Garden provided me with a unique opportunity to discover more about myself via the powerful summer work program they offer to high school students in the area, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.”

 

 

 

Pushing the Boundaries at Upward Bound

Student Interns: 
Eileen Armani, Temple University, School of Nursing
Paul Gallina, Temple University, Lewis Katz School of Medicine

Academic Preceptor: 
Providenza Loera Rocco, JD, MSW, MBE, Temple University, Lewis Katz School of Medicine

Community Preceptor: 
Amanda Burau, MHR, Math/Science Coordinator, Upward Bound
LaToya Winkfield, EdM, MBA, Director, Upward Bound

Community Site: 
The Temple University Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science Programs prepare Philadelphia public and charter high school students for admission to institutions of higher learning and success in the collegiate environment through intense academic enrichment, a summer college immersion experience, enhanced cognitive and critical thinking, and extensive interpersonal development through positive social interactions. The programs enable students to set attainable goals and build self-awareness, respect for diversity, and healthy relationships with peers, staff, and professionals from industry and the community. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020): 
Access to Healthcare; Educational Advancement/Literacy; Environmental Health; Health Communication; Preparedness.

Project: 
The Bridging the Gaps student interns ran an elective course to expose the students of Upward Bound to different fields of science research. Each week the interns developed a curriculum around a particular field while also trying to focus on different techniques for conducting research. This allowed the students not only to see an array of possible research opportunities but also to start to develop skills such as crowdsourcing, coding and data analysis. Each week the interns tied in discussions about important issues, from climate change to food insecurity. At the end of the program, the interns helped the students conduct their own research project and start to prepare for the science fair they will be participating in during the school year.

Intern Statements:
Eileen Armani: “My experience at Upward Bound has been so meaningful and gratifying. I was so fortunate to have worked with the students and staff at Upward Bound. Seeing the development of the students’ science research and critical thinking skills from the first week of the program to the last week of the program was very rewarding.”

Paul Gallina: “Working at Upward Bound over the summer was such a rewarding experience for me because of the passion of the students. It was uplifting to see young high school students eager to solve real-world problems with a fearless imagination that did not hold them back.”

 

 

For Better Unity Help Your Community: A Summer of Service & Professional Development

Student Interns: 
Susannah Berry, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice
Nina Juntereal, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing 
Gideon Turk, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Academic Preceptors: 
Zvi D. Gellis, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Ann L. O’Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CPNP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing

Community Preceptor: 
Anthony Singleton, Educators for Education

Community Site: 
WorkReady Philadelphia is a collection of programs managed by the Philadelphia Youth Network. Through its summer and year-round programs, WorkReady aims to address the skills gap for vulnerable young people aged 12 to 21 by connecting youth to employment and career-oriented educational opportunities. These programs aim to challenge participants to understand the correlations among education, work experience, and college and career success and to acquire skills through work-based learning. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020): 
Environmental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Social Determinants of Health; Tobacco Use.

Project: 
The Bridging the Gaps student interns supported the WorkReady site at the YESPhilly school, focusing on service learning and community engagement. Twenty-seven youth aged 15 to 19 participated in the program and volunteered at 14 community sites throughout the six-week program. Participants worked in community gardens and helped with food prep at shelters, homeless outreach, cleaning/maintenance at partner sites, and neighborhood beautification throughout North Philadelphia. Friday sessions focused on professional development skills such as how to write a résumé and cover letter as well as public speaking and time management.

Intern Statements: 
Susannah Berry: “My experience at WorkReady has challenged me in new ways. I helped to develop and implement a service learning program from the ground up alongside my co-interns. I better understand the challenges of macro practice and the importance of flexibility when working with community sites. Working with the teens has been a highlight of the program as they continue to ask questions and learn about the strengths and resources that exist within their community.”

Nina Juntereal: “To serve and support at-risk youth personally and professionally in North Philadelphia has both challenged and rewarded me to seek solutions to improving the educational system. My time at WorkReady has broadened my perspective and given me a lens to the harsh realities and resources available to urban communities. By developing a curriculum structured on civic engagement and career development with my co-interns, I am more attuned to how impactful our work is for both youth and the community partnerships. My hope is that this programming model we created will lay a foundation for future interns and educators and sustain for decades to come.”

Gideon Turk: “WorkReady at the YESPhilly school has been an eye-opening experience for me, forcing me to leave my comfort zone and deal with situations and communities which I was not familiar with beforehand. Joining the youth in the field for various service projects allowed me to see the North Philadelphia community firsthand and learn so much about the environment and people with which I was working. The professional development focus of our program also allowed me to not only help the youth build their professional portfolio for when they seek employment, but taught me many lessons that I will bring with me to all of my future employment opportunities.”

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