UCLA School of Public Health Field Studies Program

Community Health Sciences

Field Placement: Central City Neighborhood Partners and Adolescent Health Unit
Los Angeles, CA
Diana Careaga
Student Name: Aimee Rand
Year: 2005

I worked as an intern for Central City Neighborhood Partners (CCNP), a non profit organization in Downtown L.A. that was previously called Youth Fair Chance. Specifically, I worked on the project WomenAndCommunity (WAC). My Preceptor was Diana Careaga, the Project Manager for WAC. The only other staff working specifically on this project was a part time Community Liaison.

This was a pilot project of Promotoras, women of and from the community, trained as health educators. This group consisted of 25 women primarily from Mexico and El Salvador. There ages and education levels varied. All instruction and training was provided in Spanish.

The women completed an intense four month training that included leadership and presentation skills, and nutrition and oral health curriculum. Upon completion of their training they begin a two moth internship in a local clinic, school or agency (such as WIC or Clinica Romero). The women then commit to one year of doing presentation in their community; they are responsible for organizing these and reporting back to WAC. They also work as a team to organize a one day conference on health topics for parents in the community.

Although Promotora programs at Planned Parenthood and some small non profit organizations have proven to be popular with community members and successful, WAC was an entirely new project for CCNP. Therefore, my role was for the most part curriculum development. I also did some evaluation work with focus groups and interviews, administrative/ organizing (i.e. development of internship contract between agency and Promotora), research to create appropriate questionnaires, grant writing (well, the first draft) and participate in many meetings with partner agencies and existing successful Promotora groups.

Working with a pilot program has both advantages and disadvantages. I found it exciting and dynamic to be involved in the creation of the program and to watch the women as they gain skills, knowledge and confidence. My supervisor was excellent; she was concerned with my learning and gave me significant responsibility and involvement. This was my first experience in a non-profit and eye opening to non-profit ‘culture’. I would recommend WAC to future interns!


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