Campus & Community

Schweitzer Fellows commit to community service

3 min read

Honoring the legacy of Albert Schweitzer, area graduate students are committing to a year of service with a community agency. In a competitive selection process, 29 students — including six from Harvard — were recently selected as 2007-08 Boston Schweitzer Fellows.

Each fellow will devote more than 200 hours of service to local communities lacking access to adequate health services. Fellows receive a standard stipend of $2,000.

The Boston Schweitzer Fellows Program has selected a new class of fellows annually since 1991. In addition to their direct community service, the fellows meet monthly to share ideas and experiences. Once the Boston fellows have completed their year of service, they join a network of more than 1,300 Schweitzer “Fellows for Life” across the United States and abroad. Virtually all continue to support and inspire each other through continuing commitment to lives of service.

Harvard’s Boston Schweitzer Fellows,

including their projects, are as follows:

Luis Nicolas Gonzalez Castro, Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Sciences and Technology,

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. Castro is assisting in direct care activities serving as a medical interpreter for Hispanic patients and translating brochures and other materials into Spanish.

Yi Li, Harvard Medical School (HMS), Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. Li is the program and volunteer coordinator for the Boston Asthma Swim Program located in Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood. This program builds upon evidence that swimming provides benefits to asthmatic children. Once a week, the after-school program brings together elementary-aged, asthmatic students to learn about the basics of respiratory physiology, asthma care, and healthy lifestyle decisions.

Zirui Song, HMS, Brookside Community Health Center. Song is collaborating with the Brookside Community Health Center in Jamaica Plain to develop a youth sports program. His project is part of a comprehensive approach to encourage pediatric patients to adopt a healthier and more physically fit lifestyle.

Tuyen Trinh, Harvard School of Public Health, Manville School. Trinh’s project, Creativity with Veggies and Fruits, aims to increase consumption of vegetables and fruits among students at Manville School, a therapeutic day school. Trinh achieves this goal through weekly education about fruits and vegetables and a fun cooking class.

Venis Wilder, HMS, North Cambridge Health Center. Wilder is collaborating with the North Cambridge Health Center to improve the care of immigrant residents in the nearby Jefferson Park housing development. She will participate in the development of health fairs, wellness workshops, and other means of outreach for the family medicine clinic and the surrounding community.

Sarah Zaman, HMS, is organizing health workshops for homeless women in Greater Boston. Participants determine the topics covered during the workshops. She is also working with the women to create a book about health and homelessness as they have experienced it.