By University of Montevallo News; Posted June 19, 2019
University of Montevallo College of Education & Human Development graduate student Jason Perry has been selected as a member of the 2019-2020 class of Alabama Schweitzer Fellows, and will spend the next year learning to effectively address social factors impacting health while also developing lifelong leadership skills.
Perry is one of 14 graduate students from four Alabama universities to be selected for this year’s Fellowship class.
Schweitzer Fellows develop and implement service projects to address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities, while also fulfilling their academic responsibilities. Each project is implemented in collaboration with a community-based health and/or social service organization.
Schweitzer Fellowships have an intensive leadership component so Fellows can go on to inspire others to improve the health of those who experience barriers to health care. Fellows work under the close guidance of community and academic mentors during their fellowship year.
During his year in the program, Perry will work to address mental health issues of low self-esteem, anxiety and social and cultural aspects affecting health, such as financial literacy, education, workforce development, physical and mental health and more in Birmingham by partnering with the City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services.
Perry will work to create the “Birmingham Fellows,” a mentoring group of 10 young men from a Birmingham City Schools high school. These students will then use the newfound relationships, knowledge and skills developed in the group to create and execute a community service project of their own to promote unity, leadership and initiative.
“This is a diverse group of students who bring a variety of academic disciplines, prior work experiences and personal backgrounds to the program. But what they have in common is a strong desire to improve the health of individuals and communities and a willingness to devote much time and effort to plan a project that addresses an unmet need,” said Kristin Boggs, executive director of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship of Alabama. “Perhaps as a reflection of that diversity, we have projects taking place with small start-up nonprofits, large established hospitals, as well as governmental agencies addressing a range of health disparities and social determinants of health. I’m already inspired by and learning from them, and I know it will be an exciting year as they live out servant leadership.”