The organization I have had the pleasure to work with is Hope and a Home, located in DuPont Circle, DC. Hope and a Home is a local organization that provides three-year transitional housing for those who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless. The program also includes workshops and services geared towards adults to assist them in areas such as employment, financial management, and child care/education. The main purpose of the organization is to provide housing while simultaneously getting families back on their feet and giving them the tools to succeed on their own. Although several efforts are in place to ensure the success of adults and subsequently the children, there is no workshop directly targeted towards the children of the families. I have been working directly with two employees at Hope and a Home to create a program plan of workshops specifically for middle-school aged kids.
Grace Dickerson and Beatrice Joseph (BJ) are two Education Coordinators at Hope and a Home. They work directly with the children on homework, standardized tests, and extra curricular activities. Grace and BJ also educate the parents on the importance of their children’s education and serve as a bridge between parents and schools/extracurricular activities. Grace and BJ have explicitly explained they are looking for a program plan that incorporates sexual health, navigating the healthcare system, nutrition, and decision-making.
Sexual health, navigating the healthcare system, nutrition, and overall healthy decision-making are important to teach to young, malleable minds. There is a major need for these workshops because children of homeless families are more likely to experience adverse health outcomes within sexual health, nutrition, and peer-pressure. It is important to implement a program that can serve as an education vehicle for students to learn and understand the importance of their bodies and the decisions they make. The program plan I am designing will include four different workshops designated to each of the troubled areas. These workshops will be developed on the basis of Health Promotion Theoretical Frameworks and each lesson plan will be unique to the topic at hand. The workshops will take place over three months starting in the summer, and will be executed by both Grace and BJ.
This is an amazing opportunity to both give back to my community as well as learn about my interests of healthcare administration hands-on. This directly aligns with CSLP’s motto of Serve, Earn and Learn. Hearing about something is one thing, but when you can apply what you’re interested in to a greater cause is when you truly “learn”. You learn about other people, your interests, and even yourself.