By Hoover Sun, June 10, 2019
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) of Alabama announced the selection of its 2019-20 class of Alabama Schweitzer Fellows in June. Fourteen graduate students from Samford University, The University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Montevallo will spend the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health and developing lifelong leadership skills. In doing so, they will follow the example set by famed physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, for whom the Fellowship is named.
Among them are Hoover residents Autumn Beavers, at UAB School of Medicine, and Jason Perry, at University of Montevallo College of Education.
“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 fellowship program.
Schweitzer Fellows develop and implement service projects that 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.
The Alabama Schweitzer program’s new class of fellows will address an array of needs including youth mentorship; pediatric mental illness; addiction prevention; chronic health conditions, and more. 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 care. Fellows work under the close guidance of community and academic mentors during their fellowship year.
Beavers will focus on improving the promotion of health sciences among students of the Academy of Health and Sciences Program at Carver High School, through the development and implementation of a curriculum that strengthens students’ academic skills and increases exposure to and interest in professional health careers.
Perry is addressing mental health issues of low self-esteem, anxiety and social and cultural aspects that affect health such as financial literacy, education, workforce development and physical and mental health in Birmingham by partnering with the Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services.
To do so, he will create the “Birmingham Fellows,” a mentoring group of 10 young men from a Birmingham City high school. These students will then use the 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.
The 14 Alabama Fellows will join approximately 151 other 2019-20 Schweitzer Fellows working at program sites around the United States. Upon completion of their Fellowship year, the 2019-20 Alabama Schweitzer Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life and join a network of more than 3,400 alumni.