Northern Virginia Area Health Education Center (NV AHEC) in partnership with the Community Lodgings Youth Education Program created a pilot program, Project Health-4-All, which provides health career education, information and exposure to immigrant youth who express an interest in pursuing a health career or profession.
The focus of Project Health-4-All is to increase the health care workforce pipeline activities and opportunities for immigrant youth in the NV AHEC region to get early health career exposure and provide educational and academic support. The long-term goal is to increase the number of health professionals in Virginia.
The NV AHEC staff has convened meetings, conference calls and conducted site visits to multiple facilities to host each health careers fair. The NV AHEC has:
- Hosted three health careers fairs: June 15th, July 20th and September 21st, 2013
- 57 students participated (including elementary, middle, high school and college age youth)
- 181 people attended the health careers fairs (including parents, health professionals and staff)
- Distributed over 100 Health Career Manuals and CDs
- Established a dedicated web page for students interested in attending the health careers fairs (www.nvahec.org/PH4A)
- Invested over 200 hours of volunteer time from community volunteers, interns and staff.
In Phase II of the project, NV AHEC, in partnership with Community Lodgings Youth Education Program and Liberty’s Promise, will begin a student program focusing on health careers.
Measuring the Impact
To maximize the impact and value on the students in the Northern Virginia region, career fair evaluations are provided to the volunteers, exhibitors, students and staff. These evaluations have provided valuable feedback which helps influence the design of the remaining career fairs and helps shape the student program.
Working Together with Community Members
Project Health-4-All (PH4A) actively engages community members – students, parents, educators, recreational centers and churches – within the region and supports community organizations such as Liberty’s Promise and Community Lodgings. Phase II of the pilot program will include professional students and health professionals as volunteers and staff for the bi-weekly student program.
Community Lodgings Youth Education Program:
- Four days a week, Community Lodgings provides academic support for children enrolled in the Transition-in-Place Program and children living in the Arlandria-Chirilagua community. Each day, more than 100 students attend afterschool program, drop in for evening tutoring sessions, participate in mentoring activities, or build their skills in the computer lab.
- Liberty’s Promise supports young immigrants in need while encouraging them to be active and conscientious American citizens. Programs aim to make the immigrant experience an affirmative one for young newcomers while instilling in them a sense of pride and support for American ideals of democracy and freedom.
- Northern Virginia AHEC is one of the region’s most respected providers of professional language services for hospitals, health and human services agencies, schools and more. NV AHEC provides hundreds of professional interpreters and translates numerous highly technical documents for the top hospitals and human and health agencies in the Washington, DC Metro area.