Summer Camps Creating Space for Students
For the third year, Promoting Leadership in health for African Nova Scotians (PLANS) delivered a health science summer camp to African Nova Scotian learners from across the province. In 2015, the number of applications increased over 300%. This interest and feedback from camp participants and their families provided the necessary evidence to grow the camp.
In 2016, two summer camps were organized with one hosted at Dalhousie University in Halifax and the other at Cape Breton University in Sydney. Both camps had the same goal of providing participants with hands-on interactive programming to introduce health programs and careers, post-secondary life, mentorship and an opportunity to meet new friends. In total 48 African Nova Scotian learners took part in the 2016 summer program – 39 in Halifax and 9 in Sydney.
Current post-secondary students studying in the field of health and/or sciences were invited to apply as camp counsellors. Six applicants were hired to facilitate learning, provide supervision, and mentorship. This experience allowed the counsellors to gain leadership skills, become mentors, and receive mentorship from Michelle Patrick, PLANS program manager.
In 2017, there will be more support for African Nova Scotian students with an increase in mentorship programming, community engagement, and expanded summer opportunities to prepare for post-secondary education.
Advancing Indigenous Health Programs
A new Program Manager for Indigenous Program was hired to reinforce Dalhousie’s commitment to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations and to strengthen our pathways programs with the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. Joe MacEachern arrived at Dalhousie in November and has already identified strategies to incorporate indigenous content into the curriculum and attract more Indigenous students to the program. Joe is also developing a mentor program to focus on retention and skill building for Indigenous students.