Striving to Build African Nova Scotian Health Professionals for the Future is an event to encourage youth to think about the different health related career opportunities available to them. This event took place on November 4th at NSCC Waterfront campus for the Dartmouth area schools and on November 19th at NSCC IT campus for the Halifax/Bedford/Sackville areas with 120-130 youth in attendance at each location. African Nova Scotian health professionals present included a Dentist, Doctor, Social worker, Nurse Practitioner, Dietitian and so much more. These health professionals spoke about a range of things from the struggles they faced through their educational careers and the importance of education to the specific things that makes their profession unique. Students were engaged and energetic throughout the presentation as they got to ask questions, participate in fun activities and win prizes.
“I never even knew you could get a masters in nursing” said an 11th grade student from Halifax West High School. “These kind of events are cool because you get to see people who look like you doing important things and defeating the different stereotypes about black people.”
The society we live in today is filled with negative stereotypes of black people. These stereotypes influence the ways in which young people view themselves and limits their abilities and opportunities. Events such as these are crucial. By exposing youth to professionals who look like them, accomplishing careers which they are interested in pursing, it helps to boost their self-esteem and shows that it is indeed possible to achieve their career goals. The work of promoting diversity in healthcare will continue as Dalhousie University and the Johnson Scholarship Foundation established a new partnership to support two Dalhousie programs that encourage, promote and support Aboriginal and African Nova Scotian students considering careers in Health Care.
A huge thank you to the amazing partners who, in addition to their generous support, have provided energy and a sense of community with their amazing collaborative work! The Association of Black Social Workers, Promoting Leadership in health for African Nova Scotians – Dalhousie Global Health Office, Health Association of African Canadians, IWK Health Centre, Nova Scotia Brotherhood Initiative, Nova Scotia Community College, Nova Scotia Health Authority and School Plus.
By: Kalkidan Gebre – Health Association of African Canadians – Student Organization member, 1st Year Nursing Student & Global Health Office Outreach Assistant