Partnering with the Bonner Leader Program, run out of our vibrant Office of Civic Engagement, Sewanee pre-health students have learned to use what they’ve learned in the classroom to help others. The Bonner program is a Service Internship and Leadership Program lasting the duration of a Sewanee student's career. Many pre-health students are Bonner Leaders, and this connection has led to amazing experiences for both sets of students.
While service opportunities for pre-health students abound, one example is the Diabetes Educator Program that began as the brainchild of pre-health Bonner Leader Gabby Spangenberg, C'14. She recognized a need for educating Sewanee students about diabetes so that they, in turn, could educate the community. With a collaboration between the Office of Medical and Health Programs and the Office of Civic Engagement, and the dedication of pre-health students and Bonner leaders including Liza Robinson, C’16; Simey Hernandez, C’16; and Adreyauna Lewers, C’16, a Diabetes Educator Program was developed. What began as an informal seminar series has now become a 2-credit course at the University. Students who take the course can then volunteer at a local medical clinic, educating diabetics and pre-diabetics.
Many pre-health students find service experiences enriching and gain a deeper understanding of human capacities and broader perspectives on health care. These life lessons learned in the community help shape their worldviews and will make them better health care providers. We have numerous service opportunities at local medical clinics, in addition to the Diabetes Educator Program.