1st-year Physician Assistant students Hannah Lee and Meghan Horio are the recipients of the Chancellor's Service Fellowship, the first all-PA team to win the award.
Hannah Lee describes the award and tells us about the project they have planned.
The Chancellor’s Service Fellowship is a mentored, interdisciplinary fellowship program that focuses on health-related community service. When this program was presented as an opportunity to create a project and get involved in the community, I immediately thought of adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs. Children who experience ACEs in the form of trauma or stress are more likely to suffer from chronic disease, social difficulty later in life, and loss of opportunity. By way of the fellowship, I wanted to find a way to address the impact of ACEs in the Durham community.
Immediately, I turned to my fellow PA student Meghan Horio and within a few days, we got to work. I am the queen of big dreams and pie in the sky thinking while Meghan is level headed and rooted in reality with an MPH to back it up. Together, we formed the perfect team. But PA school is busy. We had to create a proposal and a budget, connect with community partners, and find a mentor. Would we have time for a project? Had we lost our minds? Meghan and I reached out to assistant program director April Stouder for some much-needed guidance. She became our mentor and helped us with every step of the project, encouraging us to tease out exactly what we wanted to accomplish.
With her support, we partnered with Eastway Elementary and created the Bull City Resilience Project (BCRP). BCRP would serve as a platform for us to provide resources that promote emotional wellness to students at Eastway. As we continued to fine-tune our project proposal, program director Dr. Barnett was nothing but supportive. Other DPAP and School of Medicine faculty were eager to set up meetings with us and connect us with resources. Meghan and I were overwhelmed with support. With an abundance of guidance, we had the opportunity to completely dive into our passion project while we balanced our PA school coursework.
After months of research and meetings with community partners, Meghan and I became the first all-PA student team to be awarded the Chancellor’s Service Fellowship. We were elated. As I said, PA school is busy. But Meghan I have learned that there is still time to pursue the things that are meaningful to you. You will have time to grow in PA school and you will meet people who inspire you and change your perspective. You will find yourself in situations that call on you to do more. And if you want to do more, everyone at DPAP will be there cheering you on and offering to lend a helping hand.
Congratulations Hannah and Meghan!