June 01, 2012 by Sandra Petri
Three students from the Drexel University College of Medicine have been named Albert Schweitzer Fellows for the upcoming year. They will work on yearlong service projects that aim to improve health conditions for underserved populations in the Philadelphia area.
According to the Schweitzer Fellowship website, it is “a one-year interdisciplinary, mentored fellowship program focused on health-related community service and leadership development.”
Two third-year medical students, Phoebe Dacha and Alicia Howard, will be volunteering their time to “Foundation to Success,” a project aimed to help educate and prepare youth in West Philadelphia for higher education. Dacha and Howard plan to tutor, run health-related workshops, and get the youth involved in community service projects of their own. This way they will be prepared academically and will also have volunteered some of their time to round out their development.
Ashley Stephens, who is in her first year in Drexel’s medical school, was awarded the fellowship in order to facilitate her plans to work with pediatric HIV patients at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, located in Philadelphia. She plans to get other Drexel students involved with helping patients to achieve their academic goals and enable them to make healthy decisions for the rest of their lives with the knowledge they have gained.
Those looking to apply for a Schweitzer Fellowship must be enrolled in a graduate program at a qualified college or university and design a service project that will partner with an established community agency. The Schweitzer Fellowship website explains that projects should “provide a direct service that meets a community-defined need and reflects national and local health priorities” as well as “be of an enduring value to the community [or] agency served.”
Once they have completed their work, the three will become members of the Schweitzer Fellows for Life program, which is a network of over 2,500 Schweitzer alumni who are making a continued effort to meet health needs in underprivileged communities.