Each year, 250 graduate students in medicine, nursing, public health and social work spend one year working with underserved communities as part of the prestigious U.S. Schweitzer Fellows Program. The program was set up in honor of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, winner of the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize.
Each Fellow works with an academic and community based mentor to design and execute a service project, and the Fellows spends at least 100 hours of the year in direct contact with clients.
Bethany Blanchard, a Boston University graduate student, won a 2011 Schweitzer Fellow to launch an art instruction program for residents of Irving B. Matross Covenant House, to help promote cross-cultural interaction among older adults who are at risk for social isolation due to cultural and language barriers.
“Again and again as a nurse assistant, I witnessed the depression and frustration that older adults often experience when they no longer participate in activities that they value” says Blanchard. “I hope that the end result of my project is a community of artists and art enthusiasts that continues to meet together long after my year as a Schweitzer Fellow concludes.” Read more.
Fellowships are available in Baltimore, Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Philadelphia, Houston, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, New Orleans and the states of New Hampshire, Vermont, North Carolina, and Indiana.