SEAHEC’s Future Health Leaders Program expansions are providing new opportunities for Pima County students. Recently, SEAHEC signed an agreement with Ajo High School, in Ajo, Arizona, a rural community southwest of Tucson, to operate a high school based health career club there.
During the year a total of 17 Ajo high school students were recruited as FHL members and the youth participating in the health career club received health career preparation activities including guest speakers, participation in health-related community projects, and touring of academic institutions to motivate them in their pursuit of future health careers, and assistance in the preparation of college applications and financial assistance. A summary of these activities includes:
Recruitment and training of a High School staff member and a local community health center staff member to be on-site health career club facilitators.
- On November 1st, 16 students took their CPR and First Aid class with local fire fighters from Ajo Fire Department.
- On December 6th the Ajo FHL club had a Medical Technician as guest speaker
- During FALL semester, the 17 Ajo FHL student club members conducted a community food drive enabling them to provide food for meals for needy families for Thanksgiving.
- On January, 2018, the Ajo FHL students volunteered at Desert Senita Community Health Center 15th Annual Health Fair.
As FHL members, students can visit and tour a university campus. SEAHEC provides these tours with the philosophy of familiarizing students with campus life to reduce their fear and anxiety of attending college, as well as exposing them to classroom environment and college students who are from similar cultural and social backgrounds as our rural students. Our survey results prove that students value the tour experience and do, indeed reduce fear of college attendance as their self-efficacy improves after participating in the tours.
On November 15th 2018, 95 FHL students from all 7 of SEAHEC’s clubs attended the Health Sciences Engineering and Technology Day at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix Arizona. This included ten from Ajo High School and eight from Pueblo High School.
SEAHEC has partnered with Desert Senita Community Health Center in Ajo to expand new volunteer opportunities, and for Desert Senita staff to provide mentoring for students. Desert Senita is the local federally-qualified health center that serves people’s health care needs regardless of their ability to pay.
Previously our newest club at Pueblo Magnet High School, in Tucson also saw an expansion of activities as a result of our push toward Pima County. In addition to the expansion to Ajo High School, SEAHEC worked with Pueblo High School to enhance their Future Health Leader impact. There, SEAHEC recruited a University of Arizona public health student, Zonnie Olivas to serve as an intern to coordinate the club. A summary of her work and health professions activities included:
- Providing continuing support identifying health professions guest speakers to our FHL club at Pueblo high school.
- In November, 2017, a guest speaker from University of Arizona College of Higher Education gave a presentation on Financial Aid and admissions;
In February, 2018, Pueblo High School FHL had a guest speaker- Veterinarian, Kipp Metzger, who has a private veterinary practice in Tucson;
- Participating in a local community health project, Pueblo High School FHL students participated in their Family Science Night with Anatomy booth and Dissection workshop.
The expansion was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, Lyons Family Fund through a grant that provided funding that helped cover the cost of student travel to GCU university, as well as intern and club facilitator stipends.