How does a community improve the public health and empower students? The Richland Public Health proposal, Empowering High Schoolers to Pursue Public Health Research in Mansfield, Ohio, has recently been funded to do just that.
This program “has the potential to increase public health awareness in both the student and general population, as well as increasing college preparedness and community buy-in among participants”. Student participants will learn how to research a current local public health issue through a series of four training workshops. At the end of the academic year, students will share their knowledge with a poster and oral presentation to various community stakeholders, including county commissioners, local health and social service agencies, and community organizers.
Programs of this type have been shown to increase college preparedness and motivate the students to return after college to work on local public health concerns. Minority Health and Wellness Project, Mansfield, Ohio, is a named partner. Dr. Julie Chaya (MA, MEd, PhD) who is the director of Community Health & Prevention Sciences at Richland Public Health, is the project lead.