The COVID-19 pandemic gave us all an up-close and personal look at the importance of public health which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines as “the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities.” Now, more than a dozen DBG students are learning about the field and contemplating future health careers through the FACES for the Future Coalition.
The program is designed to give students from diverse backgrounds a chance to learn about health careers and gain the confidence, skills, and support to pursue them. 15 DBG students just completed ‘Public Health 101’ and, as an added bonus, they received $500 checks for successfully taking the course.
“They learned about different careers in public health like researchers, lab technicians and even people who are passing laws for safer communities,” said DBG Associate Director of Academics Dan Finegan. “We want to train our students to be thought leaders who help educate their communities. It’s a fantastic opportunity. This is really a head start for our students who might want to be future social workers, doctors, educators and researchers.”
DBG volunteer Cedric Mutebi, a 3rd year medical student at Wayne State University School of Medicine, helped facilitate the training.
Eric C., a 10th grader at Martin Luther King Jr. High School was among the group of students who participated.
“The program was interesting, and I was able to understand the values of helping society improve their health. We can help everyone stay healthy. I learned about barriers to getting quality health care. Some people are blocked from affording critical care,” he said. “The program helps me to speak out about health issues in my community.”
Eric says he was surprised to receive the $500 check. He immediately put the money into savings “for an emergency or something I really need.”
“The program has been beneficial. I didn’t know about a lot of this stuff, and I know I can use public health information later in life,” he added. “Not many people learn about this in school. There are too many people who don’t know about public health issues in the world.”
Founded in Oakland, California in 2000, the FACES for the Future Coalition was developed to address a lack of diversity in health professions and provide support for young people interested in pursuing those fields. The program connects schools, health professionals and community organizations like DBG to make an impact. We are proud to be part of this national effort which could open the doors to so many future career opportunities for our students.