Welcome to Summer Service Partnership 2014!

For the summer, I’ll be hanging out over at http://www.summerservicepartnership.com
This is the blog of the summer program that I direct, with the amazing help of Cathryn Smeyers, program manager extraordinaire.
With the Summer Service Partnership, 21 medical, professional, college and high school students come together to learn about the social determinants of health, map community assets, then do a health service project on a topic of their choice. We do STEAM education around community health concepts–while also emphasizing 21st century learning skills such as team work, leadership, project management, written and oral communication, networking and presentation skills. The summer demands creativity, flexibility and resiliency. Our final expectation, always, is “have fun!”

Summer Service Partnership

A new summer of service learning begins!

2014 will be the Summer Service Partnership’s sixth summer addressing community health issues on the South Side of Chicago through service, education and youth leadership. And it will be my fourth summer to have the privilege of directing the program.

Each summer, SSP teaches me new and powerful lessons.

My first summer of 2011, I learned that motivated people will do amazing things when they have a basic structure and basic support in which to work. When the students accomplished their goals, they believed in their power to change the world for the better.

In SSP 2012, I learned that teamwork is what makes or breaks each venture.

In SSP 2013, I felt firsthand within the program the devastating cycle of violence and hopelessness, and found relief in the SSP neighborhood teams’ simple acts of community building and messages of peace. Creating safe and welcoming neighborhood teams was an act of healing, from which…

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