Pritzker Students Participate in Day of Service in South Side Communities
February 13, 2009 — More than 40 Pritzker students and 20 local high school students participated in the first annual "Pritzker Day of Service" on January 31, 2009. The students volunteered at the Gary Comer Youth Center in Greater Grand Crossing and the New Millennium Health Professions School in South Chicago where they completed projects ranging from painting a mural to recording an original hip-hop song track with a theme of combating health problems that impact the community.
“This day was so inspiring because community members showed great hope for improvements in their neighborhoods even though they faced many set-backs and obstacles,” first-year student Enrique Escalante explained at the reflection session.
The Day of Service was sponsored by the Pritzker Community Service Fellowship (PCSF) and the University of Chicago Medical Center's Office of Community Affairs. PCSF is a student-initiated organization that develops physician leaders dedicated to public service, advocacy, and community health. The core components of the program include leadership and skill building sessions, peer mentoring, and participation in service-learning projects. Each student member of PCSF is paired with a faculty member with whom they shadow throughout their four years of medical school and from whom they receive regular career advice.
As part of an ongoing effort to make service-learning more structured and integrated into the medical student experience, PCSF recently launched a partnership with two Southside Communities, South Chicago and Greater Grand Crossing. The organization plans to develop longitudinal service-learning projects within these two communities. Future plans include partnering with the Gary Comer Youth Center (GCYC) and the New Millennium School of Health Professions (NMSH) to develop tutoring and mentoring programs.
The organization is mentored by several University of Chicago faculty members and administrators, including Sarah-Anne Schumann, MD, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, John Schumann, MD, Shalini Reddy, MD, Assistant Dean for Student Programs, and Laura Derks, MPH.
For more information on this innovative organization please visit the PCSF website (http://pcsf.uchicago.edu).