Reflections on Building Community Health Partnerships


My fellowship has definitely been an interesting and challenging journey. I am glad that I was given an opportunity to be part of this wonderful journey. This summer, I am working alongside with YSS and Iowa State University’s (ISU) Student Wellness Department to create a continuum of care for youth and our fellow Iowa State University students who have gone through addictions recovery or are currently in recovery programs. The goal is to create consistent, coordinated and effective Collegiate Recovery program for ISU students.

At the beginning of the fellowship, I was eagerly researching about addiction and trying to learn more about it. I realize that it is a sensitive topic I am dealing with that I needed to learn more about it before I could really start working on the project. My supervisors Jason and Jill were really supportive of my interest and research. They encouraged me to to get to know more about Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) model and addiction as well. I was all over the place at the beginning of my fellowship trying to figure out where to begin.

Mark, the director of ISU’s Student Wellness Department walked me through my responsibilities. With the help of Jason, Jill, and Mark we were able to figure out what we need to do to create CRC for ISU. Of course not to forget, Kirsten and Kayla from Future Leaders in Action (FLIA), they helped me throughout this project by providing feedback and resources that were necessary for this project.

A survey for the school’s students has been created  and will be sent out at the beginning of Fall 2018 semester, focus group group meeting and survey was organized to have a better understanding of campus and the stigma around addiction. Moreover, I conducted phone interviews with other institutions that have a CRC program at their institutions to gather information on creating a successful Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) at ISU and I came up with a 10-year CRC plan for the school. As for the next step, we are hoping to move forward with the gathered information to introduce CRC at ISU this Fall 2018 and create a safe environment for students who are/were in recovery. I am grateful that ISU Student Wellness has offered me to continue this project as a student during this upcoming Fall term.

This fellowship, in a nutshell, has made me to be a very confident, organized, and independent person. I have learned what a professional setting would look like, how I should interact with professionals, how I can be confident and well-prepared to run a project, and what is it like to have a supportive team and mentor. Once again, I would like to thank FLIA for giving me this golden opportunity.