By Gabrielle Hansen, Ph.D.
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Houston Galveston
Perpetuating Famed Physician-Humanitarian’s Legacy, 26 Medical and Graduate Student Fellows and 10 Undergraduate Student Junior Fellows Will Spend Next Year Improving Community Health & Developing Lifelong Service Leadership Skills
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Houston Galveston (ASFHG) is pleased to announce the selection of its 2018-19 class of Junior Fellows including five from the Honors College at the University of Houston among a total of 26 medical and graduate student Fellows and 10 undergraduate Junior Fellows who will spend the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health and wellness in the local community with a focus on those who are underserved and less privileged. The Fellowship also provides mentoring to develop lifelong service leadership skills and advancing famed physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer’s message of service.
These newly selected Junior Fellows from the Honors College at the University of Houston join approximately 300 other 2018-19 Schweitzer Fellows of 15 program sites throughout the U.S., partnering with local community-based organizations to develop and implement yearlong mentored service projects that improve the health and well-being of underserved people.
Students from the University of Houston Honors College, their project site and a brief description of their project are:
- Fatema Shipchandler, Culture of Health - Advancing Together. Will conduct an emotional and physical wellness workshop series for immigrant and refugee female youth
- Raina Jose and Karina George, Bruce Elementary School. Will work with elementary school children near Houston's third ward community to address the community’s high incidence rate of asthma attacks by promoting respiratory health
- Sandy Jun and Rodolfo “RG” Yamba, YES Prep. Will work with students to address AIDS/HIV prevention and promote wellness/healthy habits and improve access to resources to help prevent against the spread of AIDS/HIV in low income areas of Houston
“I’m delighted that this year the Schweitzer Fellowship has expanded again and we have our largest ever cohort of incredibly driven, passionate and service-minded Fellows, from an even broader selection of schools, disciplines and areas of study. The projects they are about to develop and launch this year build on the wonderful work of previous Fellows, and also introduce new partner agencies to the innovative programs these Fellows dedicate their energy and commitment to all year long. I’m very excited to watch them grow as emerging health leaders with a heart for service and see the important contributions they will make in our communities in need,” says Gabrielle Hansen, Ph.D., executive director of the ASFHG.
The U.S. Schweitzer Fellows Program was established in 1992 to address health disparities from two angles: First, each Junior Fellow completes a one-year project of 100 hours, under mentorship of their site and school, as well as the Fellowship leadership and Fellows For Life. Junior Fellows complete projects either individually or in pairs and either continue on from previous Junior Fellow projects or create new programs at local agencies serving our most vulnerable populations. (Graduate-level Fellows commit to 200 hours of service work during their Fellowship year; they do this through a partnership with a local non-profit agency where they develop and implement a sustainable project that provides a minimum of 100 hours of direct service for the target group.) Aligned with the service work is an active mentoring aspect of the Fellowship to further develop the service leadership qualities in emerging professionals so that they are equipped to address these social determinants of health throughout their careers.
Upon completion of their year, the 2018-19 Houston-Galveston Schweitzer Fellows will become Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in and committed to addressing the health needs of underserved people. Fellows for Life report back that ASF is integral to sustaining their commitment to serving people in need.
Launched in 2008, the ASFHG is funded by private donations, the support of charitable foundations and academic institution sponsorships. Foundation support include the Baxter Trust, The Simmons Foundation, the Frees Foundation, the Stanford and Joan Alexander Foundation, Fondren Foundation and The Albert & Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation. More information is available on the website at www.asfhg.org.