On Friday, August 17, 2012, the first cohort of 20 students participating in the “Social Determinants of Health Internship Program” presented professional posters about their experiences at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago.
Developed by 2011-2012 Fulbright NEXUS Scholar and CEO of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health in New York, Dr. Ruth Browne, the internship program was designed as a replication of a successful model that had been carried out in Brooklyn, New York. It increases young people’s knowledge about social determinants of health – like race, class, and gender – and the field of public health itself, all while raising awareness of their own roles as changemakers.
Gregory Sloane Seale from Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of National Security and Wendel Manwarren, founding member and producer of musical group 3canal, addressed the students and guests who had come to celebrate their successes. According to Browne, these guest speakers further inspired participants to be Agents of Change in their communities.
Working with the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine and ten local non-profit organizations, Dr. Browne and her program partners are looking to create a model for local communities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Browne says her future plans include continuing the program in Trinidad and Tobago and extending the internship opportunity to youth in Jamaica in 2013.