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Student Initiatives

Our students are some of the greatest assets to our school and community.

Community Champions

Our student-led Community Champions program—which comprises 11 initiatives—brings Penn Nursing students out of the classroom and into the greater Philadelphia community to share their skills and learn from their experiences. 

One program, Dance for Health, offers free dance fitness classes aimed to empower community members of all ages to take their health into their own hands through an activity that is easily accessible, free, and enjoyable. This program not only gets the blood pumping, but also provides the opportunity for nursing students to mentor high school students, while evaluating the impact of the activity on the participants.

Other initiatives include diabetes awareness and asthma outreach programs that, in collaboration with Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships, teach children prevention methods and give them the tools to manage these conditions and potential complications.

One of our most popular programs, The Fruit Stand, is a joint effort with Netter’s Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative that demonstrates to elementary-age children how to eat well and manage a business by selling fruit.

Community Champions also engages with older community members, including a chair-dancing program created by the nursing students at MercyLIFE — West Philadelphia, a program that provides health care services and socialization to allow older individuals to live in their homes as long as possible.

  • Stephanie Spinosa: Learning in the Community

    Building on her experiences in the classroom and clinical rotations, this summer Penn Nursing student Stephanie Spinosa worked as a nurse intern at the Mary Howard Health Center. A primary care community health center for the homeless population in Philadelphia, this experience has had a profound impact on her understanding of the scope of nursing and her career options going forward.

  • Public Libraries as Hubs of Health Information

    A President’s Engagement Prize will help Melanie Mariano connect Philadelphia library patrons with resources to address health concerns.

  • President’s Engagement Prize Includes Penn Nursing Senior & Faculty Mentors

    “These projects represent a most remarkable range of Penn-educated talent, determination and public-spirited enterprise among our students. They will no doubt be outstanding ambassadors of public service, and I look forward to seeing the results of their projects,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann