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Casa Grande High School Students Explore Careers in the Health Professions

One of the goals of the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is to inspire underrepresented high school students to pursue a degree or occupation in one of the health professions.

The Youth Engagement for Success (YES) health education program is a week-long interactive and interprofessional summer camp to introduce high school students in Casa Grande, Arizona to the health professions.

Watch the video to learn more about the program.

The curriculum consist of a variety of events such as indoor and outdoor activities to promote exercise and healthy behaviors, seminars focusing on current public health issues, and information sessions geared towards how to succeed in school.

Currently there is a health professions shortage in the workforce within rural, border and minority communities. YES seeks to bridge this gap by reaching out to the community and exposing students early in their lives to how important the health sciences professions are to the overall health of people, including their own.

“There are strong misconceptions among students about the health sciences. Mainly that a career in this area is limited to nurses and doctors. Through this program, we want to eliminate those misconceptions and properly inform students through informative seminars, guest speakers and interactive activities,” said Cecilia Rosales, MD, MS, interim associate dean of community engagement and outreach and associate dean of Phoenix Programs and programs for the at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Upon completing the program, the participants have a better understanding of the health professions and hopefully a spark of interest in serving marginalized and rural communities in Arizona.

Students and alumni from the UA College of Public Health serve as camp counselors: Larisa Adame, public health undergraduate student; Jeffery Hanna, MPH, co-founder of Street Medicine Phoenix and current student in the MS program in clinical translational science at the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix; Brandon Howard, current MPH student in public health practice and epidemiology and data analyst at the Maricopa County Department of Public Health; Alma Ramirez, health education and promotion professional and YES program coordinator; and Sheila Soto, MPH, doctoral student in the public health policy and management program and manager of the Primary Prevention Mobile Health Unit program in Tucson.

The University of Arizona