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SOURCE Alumni & Friends Newsletter
Summer 2017

New Service-Learning Course Spotlight: Social Context of Adolescent Health

Alumni Newsletter

In 2012, SOURCE launched our SOURCE Service-Learning Faculty & Community Fellows Program. The program engages an annual cohort of faculty from across the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Public Health, Nursing, and Medicine, and community leaders from Baltimore City community-based organizations for a one-year service-learning training program.

One of the primary outcomes of the program is the development of new service-learning courses designed to engage health professional students in meaningful service that is aligned with their course content. This year, we highlight the work of Dr. Terri Powell, who transformed her Social Context of Adolescent Health course, offered in the School of Public Health, into a service-learning course in partnership with The Commodore John Rodgers School and the Henderson-Hopkins School.

When asked why she decided to transform her course into a service-learning class, Dr. Terri Powell offered the following reflection:

“This course was developed based on years of feedback from students requesting greater interaction with young people in Baltimore. As luck would have it, two nearby middles schools with whom I partner for research were also interested in offering educational enrichment opportunities to their higher achieving students. The class then met multiple needs at once. I work with schools, families and churches to address adolescent health and well-being, so this course is the essence of who I am as a professional. This course allows me to share my knowledge, passion and experiences with the next generation of leaders. Being able use data to connect students from multiple levels was icing on the cake.”

As a part of this course, roughly ten students from the Bloomberg School of Public Health collaborated with middle school students from both The Commodore John Rodgers School and Henderson-Hopkins School on a STEM related project. Over the course of the eight week term, small teams of graduate and middle school students reviewed data from the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance (link to: and worked together to interpret data and create a presentation that highlighted meaningful data with recommendations for improving adolescent health in Baltimore.

On May 15, 2017, the middle school students from The Commodore John Rodgers School and the Henderson-Hopkins School joined Bloomberg School of Public Health students on campus to present their work to teachers, students, family members, and JHU affiliates. The presentations focused on issues like neighborhood crime and violence, and middle school students shared their perspectives and ideas for addressing these issues.

One of the JHSPH students who participated in this course had the following to say about the experience:

“I really enjoyed this course. I felt the content was very interesting, and the practical component of working in the classroom was my favorite part. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to gain exposure into the school environment and to learn more about Baltimore. I also loved our group of students. They did a terrific job and we were able to develop relationships over the course of the term.”

Thank you to Dr. Terri Powell, the students and teachers from Commodore John Rodgers, Henderson- Hopkins Schools, and Public Health graduate students for making this service-learning course possible!

Go Back to Summer 2017 Newsletter