by Christianah Ogunleye
The Schweitzer Fellows for Life Network has launched Fellows Fest 2018, a campaign to help support our current Fellows' projects. Each of the Fellows has created a "wish list" of supplies and resources that will help them realize their service project goals. Readers are invited to join the Fellows Fest event taking place on September 11 in Chicago.
The Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program, named after noted humanitarian and Nobel laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer, is a year-long service learning program for graduate students in health-related professions who will design and implement innovative direct service projects aimed at improving the health and well-being of underserved Chicago area communities. Through their community projects and participation in a year-long program that includes mentoring support, monthly meetings, written reflection, and interprofessional collaboration, Schweitzer Fellows are developing the skills and confidence needed to become Leaders in Service—professionals who will remain dedicated to public service and to creating change.
In collaboration with existing community organizations, each Schweitzer Fellow will launch a community-based project, providing 200 hours of service. Fellows will work to improve community wellbeing and target the social determinants of health—the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age that have a profound impact on health and quality of life.
As a current Schweitzer Fellow, I will implement a physical and mental wellness curriculum for female African American adolescents at the Washington Park Chicago Youth Program. I plan to utilize creative physical expression to emphasize the importance of the mind-body connection and promote a healthy lifestyle. I hope to raise funds for inclines mats, cartwheel mats, and other training equipment, as well as money to rent full gymnastics space for quarterly field trips with the girls in my program.