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Paying It Forward: Psych Professor Earns Philanthropic Grant

Farrah Jacquez will develop course that enables students to assess needs of CPS school and allocate money to help.

Date: 12/17/2009
By: Kim Burdett
Phone: (513) 556-8577
Farrah Jacquez, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, has received a $5,000 grant from Ohio Campus Compact called “Pay It Forward: Strengthening Communities Through Student-Led Philanthropy.” The grant was offered to University of Cincinnati faculty for course development that integrates student philanthropy into community-based learning.

Farrah Jacquez.
Assistant Psychology Professor Farrah Jacquez will be teaching a course that gives students a chance to conduct a health needs assessment at a CPS school.

Tell us about how you plan to use the grant in your Diversity and Health class.

The students in Diversity and Health will be conducting a health needs assessment with the students, teachers and staff at the Academy for Multilingual Immersion Studies (AMIS), a Cincinnati Public School attended by K-8 students who are native Spanish or French speakers as well as by a large number of African-American youth. Based on what my students find out in the health needs assessment, they will grant money to AMIS for health-related projects.

What will the funds go toward?

The exciting thing about the Pay It Forward grant is that funding decisions get to be made by Diversity and Health students. After talking with the students, parents and staff at AMIS, my students will analyze the data and decide how they want to grant the money to the school. They could choose to use all the money for one purpose, or they could choose several areas to benefit.

Why did you decide to conduct a needs assessment at the Academy of Multilingual Immersion Studies?

I work closely with AMIS through the Latino Health Collaborative, an organization composed of community members and faculty and students from UC and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Because AMIS has about 40 percent Latino students, we have been partnering with them on research and service projects and have heard from the staff that AMIS students have many health needs. The Pay It Forward grant seemed like a perfect opportunity for my Diversity and Health students to get experiential learning about health disparities and health interventions.

What will be the responsibilities of UC students in this course?

UC students will go to AMIS and conduct focus groups to get the student opinion on health needs. My students will also do a survey with parents and staff to get the adult perspectives. After collecting data, they will analyze the responses for common themes and use that information to decide how to grant the money to AMIS.

What do you hope they will gain from this course?

One of the major goals of the Diversity and Health course is to get students thinking about how they could work with communities to develop interventions that would help overcome health disparities. The Pay It Forward mini-grant provides an ideal opportunity for students to use philanthropy to achieve this goal.

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