RISE For Health

Project description:

RISE for Health and Wellness, formerly Immigrant Youth and Health initiative, offers UCalgary students the opportunity to learn from and co-create community health programs with immigrant youth. Together, students and youth plan and execute youth health learning activities geared towards immigrant and refugee communities in Calgary and build the health leadership capacity of youth within these communities.  Experts within the medical school and the communities lead the sessions and focus on topics such as the social determinants of health, mental health, research, undergraduate and career options. The speaker also inspires students to carry this knowledge into their communities while shedding light on these topics. This program is under the leadership of Dr. Turin Chowdhury. 

The initiative follows a cascade model of mentorship to build community youth leadership in a staged approach, with four phases to date:

PHASE 1, 2017: Together with the Bangladesh Canada Association of Calgary (BCAOC):

Stage 1: 

  • UCalgary student Immigrant and Refugee Health Interest Group participate in community consultations, plan together, and design curriculum for Bangladeshi youth based on Bangladeshi community-identified issues, 
  • Develop infographics on: Hepatitis C, Cardiovascular Health, Reproductive Tract Infections among Teens, PTSD among Refugees, Mental Health and Youth, and Diabetes. 

Stage 2: 

  • Facilitate 14 interactive summer learning sessions with Bangladeshi youth and others on health.

PHASE 2, 2018: Youth summer learning program, broader immigrant community reach:

Stage 1: 

  • With Phase 1 UCalgary youth leaders, explore health issues in student participant communities (mainly South Asian and Middle Eastern), plan and co-design curriculum

Stage 2:

  • Facilitate interactive summer learning sessions for immigrant high school students in 4 teams: physical health, mental health, social health and skill development

Stage 3: 

  • Conduct a study with students and parents on perspectives of youth roles in community health

 

PHASE 3, 2019: RISE for Health youth summer learning and youth leadership development:

Stage 1: 

  • Phase 2 high school participants (African communities) and UCalgary students co-create the summer learning program with immigrant youth acting as “community champions”, to ensure the program was developed to fit youth needs. 
  • Form 4 preparation teams: research, community engagement, curriculum, and communications.

Stage 2: 

  • Co-facilitate 12 interactive summer sessions with lectures from community experts, and activities for skill development in leadership, communication, and critical thinking. 

Stage 3: 

  • A summer long research assignment was added to encourage participants to reflect on what they’ve experienced within their communities

PHASE 4, 2020: RISE for Health youth-led summer learning and health leadership program:

Stage 1:

  • UCalgary students conduct Focus Group Discussions with Phase 3 high school participants for feedback to improve the program and identify youth leaders for the summer sessions (African communities focus)
  • UCalgary students conduct Community Conversations with diverse immigrant and refugee youth group in collaboration with Immigrant Services Calgary to identify youth needs and obstacles for health and wellness and health literacy. 

Stage 2: 

  • Phase 3 youth develop materials with UCalgary students as coaches, adapt to on-line environment 
  • Co-facilitate 16 interactive summer sessions with lectures from community experts, and activities for skill development in leadership, communication, and critical thinking. 
  • UCalgary students conduct Community Conversations with parents to identify the health and wellness barriers and intergenerational challenges.

Stage 3: 

  • Phase 3 youth and UCalgary students co-facilitate e-learning and e-engagement sessions
  • Youth conduct a summer long research to reflect on what they’ve experienced within their communities under the mentorship of UCalgary students. 

Stage 4: 

  • UCalgary students analyze the findings from surveys, focus groups, and community consultations. 

Key Contacts:

Dr. Turin Chowdhury

Associated opportunities

We are currently seeking student volunteers for phase 4 of this project. Please contact Dr. Turin Chowdhury for more information.