Every Woman Southeast | Preconception Fellowship Program

The Fellowship – which is designed for Juniors and Seniors who serve as peer educators at their university to support their current efforts as peer educators, connects students to mentors and a community of colleagues around the South, and builds their capacity for future leadership in public health – came together for a kick-off meeting in early October in Durham, NC. Source: Every Woman Southeast | Preconception Fellowship Program

Hello, my name is Kiana Thomas and I currently serve as the Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) Preconception Peer Educator president. On Saturday, October 10th, 2015 I had the opportunity to travel to Durham, NC to participate in the Every Woman Southeast Preconception Fellowship opportunity. Out of the numerous applicants, two JCSU students were selected: I was chosen as well as my friend, classmate and fellow Preconception Peer Educator, Whitney Walls to participate in the program.

I had no idea what to expect from the fellowship but I was excited for the opportunity to meet new people with the same passion for preconception health. I loved the diversity of the women chosen for this coalition. We were able to bring unique ideas to the table because we all had different backgrounds, ages and experiences. All the students in attendance were able to meet professionals in the maternal and child health field and be paired with a mentor that we could keep in touch with even after the initial meeting. Led by Erin McClain and Sarah Verbiest, we were able to make good use an all-day conference about a topic we all had some knowledge in and create new ways for us to think of how to reach the community.

Overall, this opportunity was exciting, educational and refreshing. I look forward to being able to make a difference and be a role model to other young women, using the outlets and tools provided through the Preconception Fellowship Program.