By: Christina Torrealba (she/her), Graduate Student in Community Health and Epidemiology
From July 10th-13th 2022, Promoting Leadership in health for African Nova Scotians (PLANS) and Keknu’tmasiek Ta’n Tel Welo’ltimk (KW) hosted the Health Sciences Summer Camps for youth in grades 8-11. The camps are intended to increase interest in the health professions for African Nova Scotian/Canadian and Indigenous youth through interactive programming, hands-on activities, and personal and cultural development. As we prepare for another summer of camp, we wanted to share some words from Timi Idris (PLANS Manager) and RJ Roggeveen (KW Program Assistant), organizers of last year’s summer camps.
One of the goals of the health sciences summer camps is to increase representation and interest in health professions among African Nova Scotian/Canadian and Indigenous youth who are underrepresented in these professions. “These students are the next generation who can change that”, says RJ, “I hope our campers left with friendships, confidence, knowledge on health sciences, and what opportunities exist for them.”
For Timi and RJ, one of the highlights of the summer camp was the mentorship night, where campers were able to network with members of their communities who are current health professionals and students. “They were able to see representation first hand and ask as many questions as they could,” Timi said, “it was also a full circle moment as we had some mentors that participated in the camp previously either as campers or counsellors.”
Timi and RJ both hope that the summer camps will encourage students to follow their post-secondary goals and spark an interest in the health professions. “I hope they were able to see that there is a place for them in this field and that the community is rooting for them as they decide on the path they want to travel”, says Timi, “I hope they also remember that PLANS and KW would support through that process.”
Registration is now open for the 2023 Health Science Summer Camps and the PLANS Prep Institute! The health sciences summer camps were a huge success thanks to the involvement of so many people, and preparations from years past. Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2 of the Summer Camp Stories series, and stay connected with our blog to hear about this year’s upcoming camps.