Three North Carolina Central University graduate students have been selected as North Carolina Schweitzer Fellows for 2012-13. They are among 250 Schweitzer Fellows across the country engaged in conceptualizing and delivering health-care and social services in underserved communities. The selections were announced recently by the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, a Boston-based nonprofit.
Tiarra Green and Courtney Williams, students at NCCU’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, will work with preteen girls in Durham through theater and peer-learning workshops to promote the girls’ health and academic performance. Their fellowship is funded by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.
Green and Williams are both enrolled in the clinical psychology master’s program at NCCU. They met as undergraduates in Greensboro — Green was at N.C. A&T and Williams at UNC–Greensboro. They will meet weekly through most of the 2012-13 school year with two groups of girls, about 40 from Githens Middle School and 20 to 25 from the McDougald Terrace public housing community. “We’re passionate about giving back to the community,” Green said. “We want our project to have a positive effect on a vulnerable group of children.”
Iyanna Henry, a student at the NCCU School of Law, has developed a mentoring and self-esteem program for minority middle-school boys to encourage academic excellence and expose them to the legal profession as a career option. The program will be conducted at the law school through the 2012-13 school year and will involve 14 boys from Durham Nativity School, a private school for boys from low-income families.
“A lot of students, especially minority males, don’t have any connection with law as a profession,” said Henry, who is from Albany, N.Y., and will be in her third and final year at the School of Law this fall. “I want to do my part to make sure they know this is a possible career path.” Henry is the first NCCU law student to be named a Schweitzer Fellow.
The Schweitzer Fellows program was founded in 1940, originally to further the medical missionary work of Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Africa. In the U.S. Schweitzer Fellows program, established in 1992, the Fellows partner with community organizations to develop yearlong mentored service projects. They also maintain their regular academic schedule.