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Center on Health Disparities – Teen Ambassadors Program (Video)

A Conversation with Amalia Rivera-Oven

Episode #46 of Connecting Our Community features Host Karen Allyn talking with guest Amalia Rivera-Oven, a senior at The Academy of the Holy Cross in Montgomery County, in her role as a Teen Ambassador for the Center on Health Disparities.

To watch the entire episode, click here.

Accomplishments of the Teen Ambassadors

The first result of the Teen Ambassador program was a presentation the group gave to the Montgomery County Board of Education. It was very well received, and led to further presentations to County government organizations and even state-wide government entities.

In addition to alerting County organizations to the issue of health disparities, the Ambassadors also wanted to do something to help reduce the disparities. To that end, they have traveled to many public County events in order to alert all County residents to the health care options available to them in the County.
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Beginnings of Teen Ambassadors for the Center on Health Disparities

The Center on Health Disparities is a program begun by Adventist Health Care. The Teen Ambassadors role was envisioned as a Peace Project by Farrel and Jarod Sheehan, in part inspired by Mattie Stepanek. The Teen Ambassador program grew to involve eight Teen Ambassadors from public and private schools in Montgomery County. As Amalia says during the show, the connection the Teen Ambassadors draw between peace and health care is that “in order to achieve peace, people must have equal access to health care”.

The Future of Teen Ambassadors for the Center on Health Disparities

One of the future-directed goals of the Teen Ambassadors is to have a Health Disparities study become a part of local school curriculums. In addition, with many of the current members of the Teen Ambassadors being graduating Seniors, the group is especially looking to attract new students to become Ambassadors. As Ms. Rivera-Oven states, “one of our goals as Teen Ambassadors is to try and get more awareness to teens … a teen-to-teen communication”. To help meet this goal, the Ambassadors have enhanced their adult-oriented presentation to make it more effective with local middle school student audiences.

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