Jack L., M1

After engaging in WUMP (the second week of orientation that teaches us about health disparities within the St. Louis community), I was struck by the inequities and health care disparities in St. Louis and wanted an outlet where I could make a difference, albeit a small one, in the lives of those who encounter these disparities. One way to get involved in community service which I sought out is CHOICES (Choosing Healthy Options In our Community, Environment, and Schools) for Youth in Detention. A group of us meet with teens in the St. Louis Juvenile Detention Center for an hour weekly and talk through case studies about a variety of healthcare issues, ranging from mental health to safe sex. It has been amazing how engaging the guys and girls at the JDC are and, frankly, I have learned a lot from their knowledge and experience in some issues. Throughout the weeks of meeting with them, it has been gratifying to build relationships, have a few laughs, and see them connect with the topics. Hopefully, they will apply some of the conversations we had going forward in their lives.