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Public Health ‘Young Global Leaders Program’ Inspires High School Students

The week-long Young Global Leaders Program for recent high school graduates and students launched this June and inspired participants with an introduction to public health and a closer look into how public health tackles global health challenges.

The Young Global Leaders Program for recent high school graduates and rising 11th and 12th grade students launched this June, just as the state was emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. The week long program, delivered by the Global Health Institute (GHI) at the Zuckerman College of Public Health (COPH) at the University of Arizona Health Sciences, introduced students to global perspectives in public health, and inspired them to understand how public health impacts and benefits communities around the world.

Seven students representing different regional high schools including Sunnyside, Ironwood Ridge, Walden Grove, Salpointe Catholic, and City High School, participated in this inaugural program which was made possible thanks to contributions from generous and dedicated supporters who funded the launch. Students met virtually for a curriculum that included lectures with COPH faculty, staff, students and alumni, and they participated in an interactive virtual lab tour that allowed them to see the multidisciplinary nature of public health. To apply what they learned, students completed a team-based project that tasked them with creating a communications campaign surrounding vaccine awareness.

We extend our thanks to the generous donors who made this program launch possible. Thank you as well to the amazing faculty, staff, students and alumni who presented and shared their educational and professional journeys. Thanks especially to Gabriela Valdez, director of global education, and Roxanna Apaez, manager, at the GHI, for their dedicated work to create and orchestrate this Young Global Leaders Program. And finally, thanks to all the students for their impressive work on the team-based projects, and their passion and commitment to make the world a better place!

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