Part 1 of 3
On July 7th, 15 junior high and high school students descended onto the Dalhousie University campus for a fun week of educational experiences. These students were here to attend the inaugural African Nova Scotian Health Sciences Summer Day Camp – a camp aimed at introducing students to the health professions through hands-on and fun activities, hopefully to peak interest in pursuing a career in health, and learn about the supports that exist to help them achieve their goals. The purpose of the camp is to increase interest in the health professions within the African Nova Scotian community.
Building on the success of the School of Nursing Summer Camp for African Nova Scotian youth, PLANS (or Promoting Leadership in health for African Nova Scotians) organized this year’s camp to encompass the Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry as well as schools in the Faculty of Health Professions. The camp also offered personal development, cultural and recreational activities such as African drumming, swimming and teambuilding exercises.
Day 1 was planned to allow students to get to know; one another through ice breakers organized by the two camp counsellors – Korede Akindoju and Liette Williams, the Dalhousie campus with a campus tour visiting the library, residence, and lunch at Howe Hall, and themselves through a personal development session with Rajean Boudreau, a Dalhousie graduate working with the Association of Black Social Workers. Students learned that they have dreams and setting goals is an important part of achieving those dreams. One student said:
I have goals that will be achieved
The first day ended in an opening ceremony attended by member of the African Nova Scotian Health Sciences Advisory Committee, Dr. Carolyn Watters (Vice President and Provost), Dr. Constance Leblanc (Acting Dean of Medicine), Dr. Tom Boran (Dean of Dentistry), other faculty members, and student families.
The remainder of the camp was filled with visits to the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Professions including the School of Health and Human Performance, School of Occupational Therapy, School of Physiotherapy, School of Nursing, and the Faculty of Science Biology department. In Part 2 of this series we will explore these sessions in more detail.