Placement: County of Santa Clara Custody Health Services Department - Juvenile Justice Involved Youth
Educational Institution: San Jose State University
This summer, I had the chance to work with the Juvenile Custody Health Services Department (JCHSD) and my co-fellow, Maren Rule, under the supervision of Dr. Shelley Aggarwal, Mollie Olson, and Lanphuong Le. This placement complemented my academic background in psychology and child and adolescent development, and interests in marginalized and minoritized groups quite well.
I was assigned to the Opioid Use and Misuse Harm Reduction Education Project in partnership with justice involved youth, JCHSD, community-based partners, and the Behavioral Health Services Department (BHSD). The overall goal of this project is to create opioid misuse PSA’s (in both video and print) that specifically target justice involved youth in Santa Clara County. In my role, I consolidated and organized our team's notes, composed a background to explain the purpose of the project, designed and facilitated two surveys with justice involved youth at San Jose's Juvenile Hall, consolidated and summarized survey data, and presented that data to our team. This project really allowed me to apply skills I acquired at Menlo College and San Jose State University in the real world. This work also further solidified my commitment to serving vulnerable adolescent populations. I plan to continue working on this project as a volunteer and am excited to see the finished products.
Along the way, I received guidance on personal and professional development. Dr. Aggarwal shared impactful health resources with us to incorporate into our work that also proved to be impactful in my own life. Maren and I also had the chance to meet with Dr. Eureka Daye, the Director of Custody Health Services and Custody Behavioral Health Services, to learn more about her path and career advice she has for us. We were also given professional advice from County employees and given the chance to tour sites across the County thanks to the coordination of the Fellows team. This was an immensely enriching experience that I have shared with professors at my alma maters in hopes of getting more students to take advantage of this great opportunity to work with our County leaders.