Entering its third year, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Tulsa Chapter has announced its latest group of fellows who will tackle the region’s health needs.
The nonprofit community health organization selected 12 graduate and professional degree students from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma to make up its third cohort of Tulsa Schweitzer Fellows.
The students will spend the next year working on service projects they designed to address health gaps in the Tulsa area.
Fellows from the first two classes contributed more than 4,500 hours to projects addressing the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities while fulfilling their academic responsibilities. Most of these projects, organizers say, have sustainability plans in place. Projects have an increased focus this year on mental health.
Fellow Erin Anderson, who’s studying speech-language pathology at TU, centered her project on addressing the emotional needs of siblings of children with special needs.
The idea developed while Anderson volunteered at The Little Light House, a Christian developmental center for children with special needs located at 5120 E. 36th St. During discussions with employees there, she realized that while the school provided a lot of support for the special-needs children and their parents, not a lot of attention was given to their siblings.
“That can be almost just as hard as being a child with special needs because they don’t always understand the situation or know how to interact or connect with their sibling,” she said.
For her project, Anderson will set up curriculums and workshops for the students’ brothers and sisters during the school’s frequent parent meetings. The goal will be to help them discuss their…