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12PLUS

Assisting Underserved High School Graduates in Attaining Post-Secondary Aspirations (click to view poster)

Student Interns: 

Zagros Asadi, Drexel University College of Medicine

Kieran Mullins, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor:
Zach Kassutto, MD, FAAP, Drexel University College of Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Harry Levant, 12Plus

Community Site: 

12Plus is a nonprofit organization that provides support during and after high school to help students and alumni reach their academic and career goals.

Project: 
The Bridging the Gaps student interns assisted the 12Plus alumni team with outreach to help alumni pursue their desired future careers or educational pathways. The interns reached out to recent graduates to check in about life after high school and worked to help them achieve their stated goals or pursue new paths. Many alumni were interested in either two-year or four-year colleges, so interns worked to guide them through enrollment steps and financial aid issues. Other alumni sought pathways such as joining the workforce or attending trade school, and the interns worked on a case-by-case basis with these alumni to help them achieve their goals. The interns also updated the 12Plus alumni tracker with all relevant information so that the organization can remain in touch with recent graduates and continue to help them into the fall and beyond.

Intern Statements:

Zagros Asadi: “Working at 12Plus this summer was an incredibly rewarding experience for me, as I was able to see the direct impacts of my work on an alumnus’s future career or educational plans. Furthermore, my work really opened my eyes to the challenges that many first-generation and lower-income high school graduates face, either due to familial commitments or due to an environment that may not support them in reaching their goals. This lack of support in the environment was reflected in the extensive gratitude and thankfulness conveyed to us by our alumni, and truly made me feel privileged to be able to work with such a great team and organization.”

 

Kieran Mullins: “Representing 12Plus as an alumni team member this summer has been an incredibly fulfilling journey. This opportunity has widened my perspective on the challenges students face to break societal barriers, particularly those from underrepresented and under-resourced backgrounds. This experience has strengthened my dedication to advocating for inclusivity and providing equitable opportunities for all. I am grateful that 12Plus allowed me the opportunity to positively impact graduating high school students within the Philadelphia and Camden communities.”

 

 

Educators for Education (E4E)

The Endeavor for Education and Employment (click to view poster)

Student Interns:

Katie Fesperman, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

Academic Preceptor: 

Zvi D. Gellis, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

Community Preceptors: 
Anthony Singleton, President/Executive Officer, Educators for Education

Community Site: 
Educators for Education (E4E) provides educational and professional services to at-risk youth aged 12 to 21. At its core, E4E aims is to empower young people, taking that leap of faith with kids who are looked down on, minoritized, and alienated from the services and resources they deserve. E4E offers a variety of services, including parental education workshops, technical assistance, school-based programming, job placements, career-skills-building workshops, and youth development programs.

Project: 

The Bridging the Gaps student intern worked alongside E4E personnel to place more than 60 youth at local organizations to assist them in finding financial opportunities, expand their professional skills, and broaden their future career options. The intern also assisted in developing a novel youth employment assistance program that provides job coaching in one-on-one sessions, with the goal of creating a professional development program that caters to each youth’s particular needs and interests. Much of the intern’s work involved helping youth apply for jobs, filling out paperwork, collecting vital documents, coordinating with parents, collaborating with community worksites, communicating with youth, generating recruitment materials, and synthesizing the youth employment assistance program materials.

Intern Reflections: 
Katie Fesperman: “As a future social worker, I am constantly trying to speak and work with communities rather than just for them. Bridging the Gaps (BTG) is an extension of that. My experience with BTG has supplemented my journey to becoming a trauma-informed, culturally sensitive, empathetic, and driven social worker and public health advocate. This kind of work is organized chaos, and there are moving parts at every level. It involves interdisciplinary teams, micro and macro influences, bureaucracy, and humanity. BTG has shown me resources and given me support networks that can help me navigate the madness in this work, not only for myself, but also for the people I work alongside.”

 

Get Fresh Daily

Get Fresh Daily: Summer Experience (click to view poster)

Student Interns: 
Georgia Garrow, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

Pari Thakkar, 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

Community Preceptor: 

Jiana Murdic, MS, Founder and Director, Get Fresh Daily

 

Community Site: 

Get Fresh Daily is a mission-driven organization that promotes well-being and health education through culturally relevant events that focus on the surrounding Black community. Get Fresh Daily provides low-cost produce boxes to underserved populations and empowers individuals to live healthier lives. The garden at Get Fresh Daily, The Freedom Greens + Garden, provides a space for the community to unwind, connect with others, and learn about healthy living.

Project: 

The Bridging the Gaps student interns worked on various projects. They created a plant write-up and recipe database to help better organize the produce boxes and newsletter. They worked in the garden, weeding, watering, planting seeds, and helping to run the Garden Market, a low-cost market for vegetables and herbs produced at The Freedom Greens + Garden. They assisted with various events, including the Summer Solstice meditation event and a children's camp. They also helped create a survey for customer feedback and evaluated the survey data. Last, they planned a bike tour route of several gardens in West Philadelphia that will be experienced during the fall.

Intern Reflections:
About the interns: “BTG CHIP has emphasized the importance of professionalism and teamwork, which has helped the interns to thrive in their roles. BTG CHIP has taught valuable information about the surrounding community and how to better serve them through inclusivity and kindness. Most of all, BTG CHIP has highlighted the importance of giving back to and learning about your community. Throughout the experience, the interns were able to speak with community members and receive feedback on the impact of Get Fresh Daily’s produce boxes. Through listening to the community members' experiences, the interns were able to see how a simple item like a produce box can drastically change someone’s life for the better and make a lasting impact. For example, one of the customers went off their diabetes medication after receiving boxes for some time. The interns were also able to learn about what it means to be culturally aware and inclusive, as Get Fresh Daily aims to center its mission around Jamaican/Caribbean culture and foods, based on the surrounding community’s roots. By being directly involved in and inclusive of the community, Get Fresh Daily is thus able to achieve and surpass its purpose as a valuable resource and safe space. The interns had the fortunate opportunity to be able to witness this firsthand and begin to explore how they would be able to apply these lessons to their own lives and careers going forward.”

 

Philadelphia FIGHT: Youth Health Empowerment Program

 

A Comprehensive Care Approach: Gender-Affirming Care, Adult Care Transitions, and Career Development for LGBTQ+ Youth (click to view poster)

Student Interns: 

Sam Pancoe, Thomas Jefferson University, Sidney Kimmel Medical College
Owen Parra, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

Academic Preceptors:

Hillary R. Bogner, MD, MSCE, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

Maria Hervada-Page, MSS, Thomas Jefferson University, Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Christopher B. Renjilian, MD, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

Community Preceptors:
Rebecca Keuch, MSN, CRNP, Philadelphia FIGHT Youth Health Empowerment Project (YHEP)

Community Site: 
Philadelphia FIGHT Pediatric and Adolescent Health Center, located in Center City Philadelphia, provides high-quality, comprehensive primary care to address the physical and emotional health needs of children and youth up to the age of 27. As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), FIGHT welcomes patients of all income levels, races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, insurance statuses, and nationalities, regardless of ability to pay.

Project: 

The Bridging the Gaps student interns at Philadelphia FIGHT’s Youth Health Empowerment Project (YHEP) focused on three projects this summer, based on a patient needs survey they administered during their first week. They updated the clinic’s gender-affirming care guide by creating a referral network of other providers doing gender-affirming care; researching resources for social transition such as free clothing, name change resources, and hair removal resources; and creating connections between YHEP and other health centers doing gender-affirming care. Because YHEP stops seeing patients at age 27, the interns also worked on a health literacy project about transitioning out of YHEP, including information on what to expect from adult providers, how to find a new provider, and understanding insurance and medications. Finally, the interns worked on improving YHEP’s education and career development resources by creating a resource guide and strengthening relationships with local nonprofits that do direct education and career counseling for young people.

Intern Reflections: 

Sam Pancoe: “Working at YHEP this summer was so rewarding. It was really impactful to see a health center that really prioritizes the patient experience and works so hard to meet the medical and nonmedical needs of its diverse patient population. Through my time at YHEP, it became clear how central affirming and inclusive medical care is to building strong and trusting relationships, especially with patients whose previous experiences have made them distrustful of medicine. I hope to use the tools I have learned about community, health literacy, affirming care, and the importance of nonmedical support services in my future as a provider.”

 

Owen Parra: “I really gained a lot this summer being with FIGHT and with YHEP. Many clinics I know of talk about comprehensive care, but the care that YHEP provides their patients goes far above and beyond that. In every appointment I witnessed, the providers created such an affirming and supportive environment, and they made a point to address the diverse range of needs each patient had. YHEP clearly holds a very special place in the heart of the LGBTQ+ adolescent community in Philly, one that has been fostered over time by this comprehensive care. It has been amazing to be a part of that, to contribute to the care of this community through personal conversations, building of resources, building of referral networks, and resource distribution. I plan to carry what I gained here into my work as a provider.”

Students Run Philly Style

 

Beyond the Finish Line 

Student Interns: 
Lindsay Hasson, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Academic Preceptors: 
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Community Preceptor: 
Ieshia Nelson, MEd, Associate Director of Community and Culture, Students Run Philly Style

Community Site: 
Students Run Philly Style is a mentorship organization that operates on the core values of courage, effort, and respect to encourage students to achieve their goals. The students work toward their physical fitness goals by training to run races. However, the impact that Students Run Philly Style has on its members goes far beyond faster mile times. Students Run provides students with mentorship and confidence-building opportunities that allow them to realize their potential. Students Run builds a community through which students can develop skills to work toward their running and personal goals.

Project: 

The Bridging the Gaps student intern focused on improving family engagement strategies. The intern designed a survey to gauge which activities families would be interested in and topics they would like more information on; created an interactive parent learning platform with information on the program, safety information, and tips to help a student athlete prepare for a race; and organized information for a Leadership Summit Camp and scholarship distribution. The intern also assisted with administrative duties at two races to ensure that the events ran smoothly.

Intern Reflections: 
Lindsay Hasson: “My experience with BTG CHIP has had a significant impact on my professional and personal development. I have always known that I wanted to work in pediatrics, but working with Students Run Philly Style has allowed me to experience firsthand the rewards of facilitating positive youth development. Because most of my interactions with the community have been in a healthcare setting, it has been very enlightening to diversify my experiences and learn about the ways in which community organizations help individuals to work towards better health and well-being. Additionally, in terms of my personal goals, this program has shown me how rewarding it is to use something that you love to help others. I have been a runner since I was in middle school, and I have really enjoyed being able to give back and help other individuals realize their passion for running, while also gaining experience in community engagement.”

12PLUS
Students Run Philly
E4E
Get Fresh Daily
Phila Fight

Philadelphia 2023 

Adolescents & Young Adults summaries

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