Raina Jain, a graduate student in the department of health care organization and policy, is finishing up her 2018-19 Schweitzer Fellowship. Jain taught life skills such as communication, coping, and time management to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students at Sumiton Middle School. She taught ~350 students during her 2018-19 school year (from Sept-April), discussing methods for students to better cope with their everyday stressors: social pressure, school work, toxic relationships with friends and family, and more. Jain used the classroom time to introduce topics, providing links to websites and hotlines where students could access additional resources and help - if needed. Jain also provided small group sessions for 14 students to facilitate further discussion and application of classroom lessons.

As a result of the program:

  • 222 students practice at least one coping skill every day
  • 223 students improved communication skills
  • 255 students feel more knowledgeable about the risks associated with opioid misuse
  • 12 of 22 (55%) students that have ever misused prescription medications, reported decreased use of opioids over the past 3 months
  • 50 of 63 (79%) students that have ever tried cigarette smoking, reported decreased use of cigarette smoking over the past 3 months
  • 77 of 118 (65%) students that have ever tried vaping, reported decreased use of vape products over the past 3 months
  • 75 of 110 (68%) students that have ever drunk alcohol, reported decreased consumption of alcohol over the past 3 months

“I’ve learned that you don’t need to be an expert to have a positive impact, if you approach the community with cultural humility, a willingness to learn and listen, and a sincere desire to help,” Raina Jain.

Congratulations Raina!

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