Rust College Health Explorers Program: Engaging High School Students to Increase Public Health Diversity
The Rust College High School Health Explorers Program (HEP) cultivates youths’ interest in public health by offering a college/health career readiness and leadership development program for underserved students in rural Mississippi. HEP introduces students to public health careers & practitioners, offers near-peer mentoring from undergraduate health-related majors & academic counseling and instruction from public health faculty at Rust College, Tennessee State University, University of Memphis and other institutions. Working with school district officials and teachers, HEP makes achieving public health careers a viable goal and provides concrete strategies to help youth succeed.
As a campus-community project engaging high school, undergraduate and graduate students, educators and officials, Public Health researchers and professionals and the community, this project underscores the importance of cultivating youths’ interest in Public Health and how early interventions can effectively support the development of future Public Health leaders.
Learning Areas:Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the need for and benefits derived from increasing diversity in Public Health through high school health explorer programs for underserved youth. Identify particular ways underserved high school students can be supported in pursuing Public Health careers. Assess the utility of engaging multiple constituent groups in supporting underserved youths’ development as future Public Health leaders.
Keyword(s): Youth, Leadership
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a co-principal investigator on funded grants providing high school health explorer programs for youth. Among my scientific interests has been the identification of culturally specific strategies to support cancer prevention and projects which support community engagement through Community-based Participatory Research and applied activities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.