Mariam Aejaz, University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health
Aejaz proposes a project working with the Rohingya community to foster communal psycho-social well-being. She will help structure a holistic after-school program and organize the creation of a cookbook that will feature Rohingya recipes with photo essays and artwork in between.
Jessica Chen, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine
Chen will develop and teach nutrition education and cooking classes focused on budget-friendly, nutritious meals to parents and children at Su Casa, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence. These classes will address specific mental and physical health needs of the residents in the home as well as establish a strong education foundation for independent living and healthy eating.
Quinn Davis, Columbia College Chicago, Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling
Davis will partner with Deborah’s Place to support women transitioning out of homelessness. She will establish a therapeutic dance program that aims to reduce stress, increase self-esteem, and foster community in order to bolster the mental health and wellbeing of the women as they reach their goals.
Joseph Deek, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry
Deek proposes to increase access to dental care for the Chicagoland veteran population. Deek will host educational workshops and screening days to find dental homes for veterans and increase their dental IQ.
Christina Ebertsch, DePaul University, School of Nursing
Ebertsch proposes to initiate cancer support groups for current cancer patient and survivors at the Phil’s Friends Hope Center located in Roselle, IL. These support groups will serve as an avenue for patients to encourage, support, and grow with one another.
Megan Garrad, University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration
Garrad’s project, Safe Circles, aims to promote psychological wellness in adolescents participating in the Match-Up! Mentoring program at Hyde Park Neighborhood Club. Her project will use existing mentorship relationships to facilitate circle discussions on risk-taking, relationships, and emotional health. The goal of Safe Circles is to increase health literacy, offer social support, and provide needed resources for underserved youth.
Jaleesa Harris, Rosalind Franklin University, Chicago Medical School
Harris will teach grade school students in the Austin community about the importance of keeping their bodies healthy using organs from her school’s anatomy lab. Students will have an engaging learning experience seeing the organ as they learn about its function and ways to keep it health and disease free.
Alexandra Johnson, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing
Johnson will partner with Heartland Alliance to address the healthcare needs of low-income individuals living with HIV/AIDS. She will initiate a health promotion program at a Heartland Alliance affiliated food pantry, offering blood pressure screenings, blood glucose screenings, and health education. The program will help pantry clients make healthy choices and develop healthy lifestyles.
Tyrone Johnson, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine
Johnson plans to implement a holistic wellness program for homeless and housing insecure individuals in Uptown. The program will empower physical, emotional, and social wellbeing through a multimodal curriculum of workshops encompassing health education, nutrition, physical exercise, and poetic art therapy.
Elizabeth Kaminsky, University of Illinois, College of Dentistry and School of Public Health
At the present time, LGBTQ street-based youth at Howard Brown’s Broadway Youth center have no formal dental education and very little access to dental care. Kaminsky proposes to create a youth oral healthcare program, incorporating topics chosen by participants, which will address gaps in knowledge and improve dental literacy. In addition, Kaminsky will partner with UIC students to establish a referral network that can provide dental treatment for the youth. She hopes this partnership will increase dental awareness in the LGBTQ youth population and improve student knowledge on unique issues that may arise when treating this underserved community.
Jonathan Lee, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine
Jonathan Lee and Andrew Ta will partner with Erie Neighborhood House and Erie Community Center to improve literacy in the West Town community. They will continue and further develop READS, a targeted literacy initiative designed for elementary school-aged students who are significantly behind grade-level in language acquisition. Additionally, they will work with young children (2-5) by increasing exposure to the English language through verbal engagement.
Kelly Leffler, Rush University, College of Nursing
Leffler will partner with Westside Health Authority to empower residents of the Austin community to increase their economic viability through adult education and job preparedness training.
Winnie Li, Illinois College of Optometry
Li will partner with Chinese American Service League to implement a program working to address limited accessibility to eyecare due to language barrier amongst seniors in Chinatown. She will initiate a fun and interactive eye health education program aimed to improve eye health and care understanding. She will also improve accessibility to eyecare by providing comprehensive eye exams and follow up appointments in Chinese. The program will serve to educate, empower, bring together and support Chinese senior residents and new immigrants living in Chinatown.
Molly MacInnes, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine
MacInnes will work with Community Outreach Intervention Project to increase access to mental and physical health services available to injection drug users and sex workers in Chicago. She will also work through mobile outreach to increase harm reduction services offered to this vulnerable and underserved community.
Jazzmyne Montgomery, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine
Montgomery will partner with Quinn Community Center to address disparities in healthy living in the Maywood community. She proposes to empower African-American and Latino youth to identify health disparities impeding healthy living in their community, and equip them with tools and support for improving uptake of healthful behaviors. Each session will inspire youth-driven strategies for implementation of community-wide sustainable changes in health and wellness.
Marlena Mosbacher, Rush University, Occupational Therapy
Mosbacher will facilitate a series of creative self-expression workshops for adults living with cancer. These sessions will use art as a means of personal reflection in an effort to promote empowerment, self-love, and resiliency.
Hannah Moser, Rush Medical College
Moser proposes to initiate a peer-led reproductive health program at Richard T. Crane (RTC) Preparatory High School. The program will aim to improve students’ knowledge of reproductive health issues as well as provide mentoring and leadership training for students interested in medical professions.
Michael Musharbash, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine
Musharbash will start an afterschool program to promote health literacy and provide career mentorship. The program will focus on topics that are especially relevant to queer people of color and low-income youth.
Maryclaret Ndubuisi-Obi, DePaul University, School of Nursing
Ndubuisi-Obi proposes a whole health initiative for Latino women and families at the Roberti Community House. This initiative will provide physical activity, exercise and stress reduction sessions that will encourage healthy lifestyle behaviors and access to health screenings, health resources/services and health literacy opportunities that will improve overall health and well-being.
Claire Park, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine
Park plans on co-designing a support group with single mothers from the Korean immigrant community in Chicago. She will focus on identifying and giving voice to the creative strengths of the women as a way to improve their mental well-being.
Cassandra Pax, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Masters of Arts in Art Therapy
Pax will work to implement an Opening Minds through Art (OMA) intergenerational art program at Central Baptist Village. Students will be paired with older adults, who have Alzheimer’s and dementia, to create weekly one hour fail-free abstract art projects. This act of communal art making will foster relationships, increase self-worth, as well as increasing overall well-being of both the students and the older adults alike.
Shaina Shetty, Rush Medical College
Shetty will utilize the existing framework of 5+1=20, an evidence-based health education program, to help students navigate the structural determinants of chronic illness. The program will be based out of two Chicago Public Schools in Pilsen and aims to give students the skills and confidence to advocate for themselves and their communities in governmental and organizing spaces.
Alyssa Stella, Rush University, College of Nursing
Stella will partner with Lakeshore Behavioral Health Hospital to provide fun and creative opportunities for regular physical activity and health education for children and adolescent inpatients. In doing so, she hopes to not only promote physical and mental health, but also to empower these teens and children to build camaraderie with peers, practice leadership skills, and choose to live active lifestyles beyond their time at Lakeshore.
Rachel Stones, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine
Stones proposes to offer yoga classes and health education classes with YogaCare at community health clinics and school settings in Chicago. The classes will provide education, stress reduction and self-care healing practices, and will serve as a tool of empowerment and community building for participants.
Andrew Ta, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine
Andrew Ta and Jonathan Lee will continue and expand the youth literacy program READS+ at the Erie Neighborhood House, which primarily serves low-income Hispanic families in West Town and Little Village. In addition to developing READS+ at the current site, they will expand the program to the Erie Community Center, work with a new population through the Early Childhood and Education programs, and establish infrastructure to ensure sustainability and a consistent volunteer force. The expanded program will provide age-appropriate English verbal engagement to ages 2-12 at two sites and be staffed by volunteers from UIC.
Jessica Tea, Dominican University, Brennan School of Business/Coordinated Program in Dietetics
Tea proposes to implement the Groceryships program in Humboldt Park, which provides families with educational, social, and economic support to improve their health with nutritious foods. She will also be working with other community programs to help residents access and use resources that promote healthy eating behaviors.
Vidya Visvabharathy, University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health
Visvabharathy seeks to increase self-esteem and bodily autonomy for immigrant survivors of domestic violence in Chicago through weekly dance workshops at the organization, Apna Ghar. Her dance workshops will be based on reflection, storytelling, and creative expression, while using strengths of the community to garner confidence and improve mental health in this often overlooked demographic.
Margaret Wang, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine
At Apna Ghar, Wang proposes to initiate a trauma-informed health and wellness series with community-engagement workshops that will increase wellness and health among survivors of domestic violence. The project will culminate in participants in creating and presenting their own wellness agenda after the series to a community of their choice.
Erin Wright, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing
Wright will design and implement a health and science education curriculum for middle-school aged youth involved in the Holy Cross/Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Camp Imagination summer program and after-school youth program. Sessions will incorporate age-appropriate health information focused on topics such as stress reduction, nutrition, and physical activity and emphasize opportunities for youth leadership and future engagement in the health and science fields.