North Carolina AHEC Program
spring 2011 newsletter | home

First Year of Youth Health Service Corps at Eastern AHEC

Eastern AHEC kicked off Youth Health Service Corps (YHSC) this year in the eastern region of North Carolina. Eastern AHEC implemented the program in high schools in Jones County this past September, 2010 and intends to expand the program to Greene County this spring and summer.

YHSC was developed in 2004 by Connecticut AHEC and is a service learning program designed to recruit diverse high school students as leaders in meaningful community service that addresses important community health issues. The mission is to increase the number of diverse high school students who matriculate into post secondary health career programs.

As part of the program, students are required to complete six modules of volunteer training and fulfill at least 50 hours of volunteer service in the community. Those who achieve 50 hours of service receive a National Community Service Recognition Award. In Jones County, students have completed volunteer training and have designed and implemented various service projects addressing issues such as oral hygiene, nutrition, fitness, heart disease prevention, and health and social issues of the aging.

Reflecting on her reasons for getting involved with YHSC, Shawn Wilds, a senior at Jones Senior High said, “I hope to gain a better understanding of what I can do for others and ways I can help my community.”

Statewide, there are a few other high schools that have started YHSC chapters, in partnership with North Carolina AHEC regional centers, including South East AHEC in Duplin County and Wake AHEC in Franklin County. Nationally, there are chapters in over 19 states and over 1,600 high school students are involved.