Iyanna Henry, a second year law student (2L) at North Carolina Central University, has been selected as a 2012-13 Albert Schweitzer Fellow. She is the first student from NCCU School of Law to receive this prestigious fellowship.
Each year, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) program awards fellowships to a select group of undergraduate and graduate school students to follow in Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s footsteps by designing and carrying out a 200-hour, year-long service project to improve the health and well-being of underserved populations. Schweitzer Fellows partner with a community-based organization to identify an unmet health need, design a service project with a demonstrable impact on that need, and bring that project from idea to implementation – all on top of their usual academic responsibilities.
Henry’s Fellowship program, I AM (Identity, Achievement, Matriculation), is an innovative supplemental academic program designed to support the academic and personal success of rising eighth and ninth graders. She will partner with NCCU School of Law and the Durham Nativity School, a private school located in Durham, North Carolina serving middle school boys who come from financially challenged (low income) families, to address an unmet mental health need: identity development and academic achievement among minority and low-income male students. Fourteen Durham Nativity School students will be selected to participate in the first phase of the program, which will begin in summer 2012.
Rooted in a holistic understanding of health, ASF Fellows’ service projects focus not only on clinical health issues, but also on the social determinants of health—the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, and which are mostly responsible for health inequities. Research supports the view that for male students, positive beliefs about their intelligence can lead to improvement in self-confidence and expectations in academic contexts, leading to enhanced engagement in school (Irving and Hudley, 2008).
Through workshops, activities, and positive reinforcement, Henry’s Fellowship project will help students cultivate a strong positive identity that is consistent with academic achievement. The primary goal is to increase the number of males and minority males who are prepared to excel in higher education and motivated to pursue a legal career.
The I AM curriculum will include interactive and exciting workshops and events designed to help participants know and understand that academic success and a career in the legal profession is within their reach. Some I AM activities include: character and skill building, guest speaker presentations, mini-mock trials, visiting the North Carolina General Assembly and meeting state and local Representatives, and traveling to Washington, D.C. Interactive law workshops will focus on teaching students legal concepts from areas including: criminal law, torts, and contracts. Workshops and activities will be primarily facilitated by NCCU School of Law students, faculty, alumni, local attorneys, and other volunteers.
NCCU School of Law students seeking paid summer employment should contact Iyanna Henry as she is seeking to hire several students to assist her with implementing this exciting program. Faculty members and School of Law alumni are encouraged to help conduct I AM law workshops and serve as inspirational guest speakers. For more information, please contact Iyanna Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org.