Before this semester, I could only guess what the field of Public Health entailed.
work in the community complemented my Public Health courses, helping me to better
understand this multi-faceted discipline.
When I first submitted my service ideas to Kathryn, I
simply suggested three service sites in which I was already involved.
Thinking none of them
would be accepted, I began to look for a volunteer position at SLU Hospital and Casa de Salud.
I was surprised when Kathryn accepted Ready Readers, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and
as acceptable service sites for the class.
At the time, I did not realize the now
apparent connection between the sites and health.
However, throughout the semester, the two
service sites I decided to use, Big Brothers Big Sisters and
, have proven
relevant to this course and effective in expanding my understanding of public health.
One can hear and be lectured on the social determinants of health: how economic status,
education level, and place of residence can negatively impact the health and well-being of
However, witnessing the differences between my childhood and Imani’s childhood
reveal the injustice of her situation, and has “put a face” on this issue.
My Little, Imani Morgan,
is a ten-year-old girl with nine siblings- all raised by their single mother.
In addition to her
socio-economic status, other social determinants of health are Imani’s gender, age, race, and
place of residence.
Her place of residence has determined the way that she has learned to speak.
I used to cringe when I heard her saying things like, “Im finna do that” or “he don’t know
But why would Imani talk differently?
Why would she risk being made fun of by
peers or not fitting in with her family by talking a different way?
She was raised to imitate the
words and diction of people around her, just as any other human being learns to speak.
speech, which results from her place of residence and education, may affect her future health by