This past week completely confirmed for me that SSP is definitely what I should be doing this summer. I feel so excited and I feel lucky to work alongside such amazing team members. I am grateful to Cathryn for all her hard work in planning the programming. We have only just begun the exploring of South Chicago, but so far we have already met some incredible people and I cannot wait to deepen our partnership with them. Meeting the high school students was definitely a high light of the week and I look forward to getting to know them more over the next few weeks and seeing where their leadership takes our team.
We started off Tuesday morning hearing from some speakers who work at the clinic we meet at, Chicago Family Health Center (CFHC). Rebecca is a chronic care nurse and she talked to use about her work treating patients with conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. She told us a story about a man with diabetes who desperately needed insulin but could not afford it. The insulin cost $400 and his family pooled together money to helped him get his insulin. The insulin only lasted him three days. Stories like this are upsetting to me because I strongly believe that health isa human right and people should not have to stress about things like getting their medicines and quality health care. I wish we took better care of each other in our society. We also heard from Lupe who is a perinatal nurse. She talked about disparity in infant mortality and preterm labor, which was extremely sad, but I am glad to know that there are places like CFHC doing good work to address these disparities. It was inspiring to hear their personal stories and motivations for doing the work that they do.
Later on Tuesday we explored South Chicago and the high school leaders interviewed several people. I am very impressed with our high school students and their ability to ask thoughtful questions and introduce themselves even when nervous.
I really enjoyed all the time we spent together as a team this week and I am looking forward to the upcoming weeks!