Despite the importance of the summer activity, my work with RISE spans far past each summer. In addition to working with youth during the program, we also work alongside youth to create the program. This occurs outside of the summer months, when we invite past youth participants to be part of our team and develop the program for the next summer. This involves analyzing feedback received from the past summer’s session and conducting focus groups with youth from local immigrant and refugee communities to determine their wellness needs and goals. From there, we work alongside youth on our team and with CSM faculty and students to develop the next summer’s program in a way that is tailored directly towards local youth. By actively seeking and incorporating feedback from youth and working directly with them, the program shifts from community engaged to community based.
Immigrant and refugee health has always been a passion of mine. As a second-generation Nigerian immigrant, I’ve spent my life learning how to navigate this country for myself and for my family. As I continue into my medical career, I hope to continue to advocate for immigrant and refugee health and to reduce health disparities by working with grassroots communities and helping foster the necessary partnerships between institutions and communities to improve health and stewardship for all.
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