The NBA Foundation is a non-profit organization established and initially funded by all 30 NBA teams that focuses on driving economic opportunity and empowerment in the Black community. August is Black Philanthropy Month, and as we acknowledge, honor and celebrate giving and funding equity, the School-Based Health Alliance thanks the NBA Foundation for its critical efforts in addressing these important issues and for its support to bring Project REACH to fruition.
In partnership with the Colorado Association for School-Based Health Care, Project REACH will create a new workforce development program that will provide experiential learning opportunities, mentorship, and health care internships for Black high school students in Denver. The project will recruit at least 20 students for a two-year, cohort-based program in which they can job shadow and be exposed to school-health care projects, connect with mentors in the health care sector, gain work experience through internships, and benefit from a curriculum grounded in youth development and equitable approaches to health. The goal in year one is to build a foundational understanding of school-based health care and the importance of school-based health centers in creating holistic and equitable approaches to health. Year two of Project REACH focuses on peer learning and skills-building through experiential opportunities.
Ultimately, Project REACH aims to introduce career opportunities in an in-demand field to Black youth while also addressing the under-representation of Black adults among health professionals. Our nation does not provide Black children equitable access to quality health care, neither as patients nor practitioners. Black adults account for less than 4% of health professionals, despite comprising 12% of the US population. Representation matters – young people thrive when they encounter successful individuals from similar backgrounds, and health inequities decrease significantly when Black patients have access to Black health care providers.
The School-Based Health Alliance acknowledges these inequities and champions the role of school-based health centers as hubs for addressing them head-on, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to work with the NBA Foundation to build this workforce development initiative and support Black youth in Denver, Colorado.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Project REACH, please contact Seleena E. Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.