Monday, August 26, 2013

Promoting health in young girls

“I am very passionate about empowering young women and I hope that I am making a difference!” says senior Kelsey MacNaughton. In 2012, she traveled to Durban, South Africa with College of Nursing faculty for an international field study in nursing. Knowing that the young Zulu girls at St. Leo’s school were in “desperate need of information and knowledge” about puberty and health, Kelsey says she “jumped at the idea” to teach the topic, along with Villanova nursing students Grace Stack and Laura Quaresima. In an environment swirling with myths on the subject and students lacking resources and parental guidance, the 7th graders in Durban were in need of accurate and updated information about growing up which the nursing students delivered, while promoting the normalcy of the changes that occur and discussing hygiene and health. Based on her experience in South Africa, Kelsey decided to deliver the same topic to 7th grade African-American girls during her senior year health promotion clinical practica with Dr. Carol Weingarten at McDaniel School in Philadelphia. Her April 2013 teaching plan included a slide presentation, a video, pre/post-tests, a “question jar,” and supplies. Kelsey later compared her observations and experiences teaching the two groups of girls in the US and in Africa for the College’s Undergraduate Scholar’s Day on April 23rd.

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