On June 9, 2016, the University of Puerto Rico Graduate School of Public Health (UPR-GSPH) will be hosting a one-day summer activity for over 150 high school students interested in the health professions. The UPR-GSPH will create a simulated Puerto Rican community called “Comunidad 4 Calles” (4 Streets Community) as a central theme for the visit which seeks to foster interaction with faculty and graduate students about public health issues that impact local communities on the Island. UPR-GSPH’s academic departments will host “hands-on”, dynamic activities to discuss strengths, challenges, threats, and opportunities regarding health promotion and disease prevention at the community and public policy levels. In addition, high school students will participate in a mock community forum to practice how to present community public health issues and recommendations, and draw policy-makers’ attention to enable action at the policy level.
Activities to be held by the School’s academic departments include: the design of health communication ads; short films on demographic issues; a birthday intoxication outbreak; a public health emergency simulation; an environmental spill; and exhibitions related to nutrition, disabilities and the elderly, as well as other demonstrations. Given that this is an election year in Puerto Rico, a stand-up comedy will be presented related to public health policy issues. As a result of this joint effort by the UPR-GSPH graduate students, faculty and other personnel, the visiting high school students will actively engage in public health work and explore the possibilities of pursuing a public health career.