Source: Faculty of Medicine University of British Columbia
Focus: Students ages 11-18
Summary: Education is widely considered the most important social determinant of health because of its power to determine future employment, income and social status. This project considers education, specifically mentoring, a key health intervention for youth, and therefore targets Aboriginal students at a critical stage in their developmental pathway, between the ages of 11-18.
One hundred mentor-mentee relationships will be established in urban and rural BC, which will be developed and maintained in collaboration with www.icouldbe.org an established eMentoring platform. Mentors will include post-secondary health science students in institutions across BC, and mentees will include urban and rural youth in grades 7-12. Mentor-mentee relationships will last a minimum of one year, and consist of semi-structured online discussions/activities.
The research component will seek to understand best practices for implementing an eMentoring model in Aboriginal communities; efficacy of technology-enabled engagement; evaluation of eMentoring as a viable alternative to traditional mentoring; and efficacy of eMentoring in promoting awareness, interest and enrolment in post-secondary health science programs, through objective measures (e.g., grades) and self-reported data (e.g., perceived value of Math/Science/English on career path).
This project was one of only three (from a pool of 28) to be funded through the Aboriginal Health Intervention Program by the Canadian Institute for Health Research
Partners and Collaborators:
First Nations Communities: Ktunaxa Nation, Shuswap Nation, Sto:lo Nation and Inter Tribal Health Authority
Organizations: First Nations Technology Council, First Nations Schools Association, Vancouver Island Health Authority, Whistler Forum, http://www.icouldbe.org/
Institutional Partners: UBC’s Institute for Aboriginal Health Summer Science Program, UBC Indigenous Students in Science and Health Science Students Associations, College of New Caledonia, School District 23, School District 36, UBC Okanagon, UBC First Nations House of Learning, UBC Health Science Student Association.