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HIV Clinic Partners with Ophelia Egypt Program Center to Help Ward 7 Residents

Monday, September 10, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Max Rodriguez
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Students enrolled in the Summer 2012 HIV Clinic were enthusiastically embraced as they provided project management guidance to the young people who partake in programs at the Ophelia Egypt Program Center in Northeast Washington, D.C. The collaboration between law students at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law and the Center’s students culminated in a well-attended event on June 27, 2012 where the teens provided health and social advocacy information to their community. The event, which was titled, "Teens Taking Charge East of the River,” showcased the teens’ project management and advocacy skills. Additionally, and perhaps most important, the community took advantage of the free HIV tests being offered, which will positively impact the long-term health of Ward 7 residents.

The community event was centered around this year’s National HIV Testing Day. In preparation for the program, the Clinic’s law students gave advice about a letter-writing campaign to solicit "give-away” items for swag bags; helped assemble safer sex kits for the community; and, assisted teens as they planned their tasks and created a timeline to ensure the project was successful. The event was the perfect opportunity for UDC-DCSL students – some of whom are working professionals – to provide non-legal advice and mentor Washington, D.C., Ward 7 residents.

Certainly, the teens also took advantage of the opportunity to educate and share information with future lawyers; UDC-DCSL students were provided information about contemporary issues facing teenagers and the myriad ways in which they take charge of their health. Additionally, the teens arranged for Clinic students to take a bus tour of Ward 7. The tour was both revealing and riveting because it highlighted both the poverty and aesthetic beauty of a section of the city where residents may not benefit from long-term, strategic planning and integrated delivery of much-needed social services.

The Egypt Center’s teens are invested in their futures and extremely motivated. Several weeks after the June program, they came to the law school and Assistant Dean of Admission Vivian Canty gave them a roadmap to earning a coveted public-interest Juris Doctor degree from UDC-DCSL. After Dean Canty departed, the teens and law students engaged in a spirited discussion about additional outreach and educational opportunities in which the Clinic and the Center can partner.

The Ophelia Egypt Program Center, in coordination with Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, is a non-profit, non-government organization that seeks to empower youth to become motivating forces as they advocate for their community. Ward 7 youth are the key to positive changes in their community and take advantage of every opportunity to harness and enrich their skills and knowledge.

The UDC-DCSL HIV Clinic’s collaboration with an organization that offers leadership and advocacy training to some of the city’s poorest residents perfectly blends the law school’s focus on social justice with real-world and practical applications. View photos from the event below:

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