PEMBROKE — UNC Pembroke graduate students — Anna Hampton and Meg Smith — have been named 2022-2023 North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Fellows.
The NC Schweitzer Fellowship is one of 13 Schweitzer program sites in the country dedicated to developing a pipeline of emerging professionals who enter the workforce with the skills and commitment necessary to address unmet health needs. Fellows are competitively chosen from graduate health professional students enrolled at major North Carolina universities.
Hampton is a first-year clinical mental health counseling student. Smith is enrolled in the master of social work program. Over the next year, Hampton and Smith will be partnering with UNCP’s Community Health and Wellness Institute and Healthy Start program to address adverse childhood experiences for families in and around Robeson County.
“It is an exciting opportunity to serve as a Schweitzer Fellow because I am interested in program evaluation and how health programs, education and advocacy efforts can impact young families from vulnerable communities,” Smith said.
“I’m looking forward to working with my fellow partner, Anna Hampton, on this project through an interdisciplinary focus. I am very interested in learning from our mentors Drs. Summer Woodside and Jacqueline Davis, and Ms. Erica Little with Healthy Start, as we work with expecting parents and new parents with babies up to 18 months of age.
“This project connects to my research interest in working with parents and children from underserved backgrounds as we share resources about Adverse Childhood Experiences and the role of resiliency in improving health outcomes,” Smith added.
Smith works as a research assistant for the Community Health Workers study and a service-learning and BRAVE Grant student assistant. Hampton completed a year of service with AmeriCorps, serving at-risk youth at a charter school. She is currently employed with the Office of the Registrar at UNC Wilmington.
Hampton said receiving the Schweitzer Fellowship provides her with an opportunity to “see my passion for unmet mental health care needs in vulnerable populations come to life.”
“My partner and I are both equally passionate about adverse childhood experiences and the impact they can have on the trajectory of life through adulthood,” Hampton said.
“It is such an honor to be selected along with other healthcare graduate students in the state of North Carolina to meet a variety of health needs in our local communities. I am dedicated to prevention, education and advocacy around mental health and this fellowship provides a platform and the resources necessary to aid in this mission.”
Smith and Hampton are both on the path to graduating in 2023.