Monday, May 30, 2011

Internship Spotlight: Josh

Josh - Sudbury & District Health Unit
For their internships many of my classmates went across the province to different cities or across the border to work in Chicago, or even across the ocean to Switzerland. I went across the street. I am completing my internship at the Sudbury & District Health Unit, located just up the road from Science North, as a member of the school health promotion team. It may not be a far off or exotic place, but it has provided me with some amazing opportunities so far and I am very happy with my choice.
I joined the team as they were in the midst of finalizing plans for the Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition 10th Annual Forum. Delegates came from across the province to attend, and there was a great line-up of speakers planned. Everyone had a job to do, and mine was to blog the conference. This was a first for the SDHU and for the OHSC, none of the previous conferences had been blogged about at all. The chance to pioneer the blog for this event meant that all coalition members, even the ones unable to travel to Sudbury for the event, could still benefit from the information presented there. It also meant that I got to meet and spend time with the amazing speakers coming to the conference. The highlight was spending time with Joseph Boyden, the Giller Prize winning author of Three Day Road and Through Black Spruce, and going with him to a local high school where he gave a talk. But to read more about my time at the conference just visit my blog. I spent a good chunk of my first few weeks here proposing it, getting it up and running, and writing those posts. Since the end of the conference I have continued to work on the blog. I have also helped to compile the results of surveys completed by conference attendees. Right now I am working on putting together a proposal for further use of social media in the organization; and specifically for it to be used in youth health promotion.
The school health team also runs an after school program in some local elementary schools called “Can You Feel It?” It involves groups of students from grades 4 to 8 getting together and learning about stress management, as well as other life skills. I had the opportunity to go to a school one day and participate. One of the activities they were doing when I was there was putting together a meal; that means I got to eat! And these kids are really good cooks!
I may not have traveled very far for my internship, but I am having a great time. I feel like I am contributing to the work that the team here is doing, as well as to my community. I hope everyone else is having as much fun, and getting as involved in their organizations, as I am!

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