University of Chicago Medicine Focuses on Developing Adolescent Male Leaders

Release Date: 
Friday, March 8, 2013

A series of seminars focusing on the developmental support of high school males began in March at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. The March 8, 2013 seminar was the first of a series of adolescent male seminars planned over the next year.

The day-long event, organized by the University of Chicago Medicine’s Urban Health Initiative, the School of Social Service Administration and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture featured sessions on health and wellness, conflict resolution, and social networking skills.

Organizers invited 150 student leaders representing ACE Technical Charter High School, Gary Comer College Prep, Hales Franciscan High School, Hyde Park Academy, King College Prep High School, Kenwood Academy High School, Mt. Carmel High School, Options Laboratory School, the University of Chicago Woodlawn Charter School, and Wendell Phillips Academy High School to attend. Student leaders left the seminar equipped to organize follow up activities at their respective high schools. Subsequent seminars will target additional communities within Chicago’s South Side served by the University of Chicago Medicine Urban Health Initiative.

Over the years, the University of Chicago Medicine has organized pre-adolescent seminars for adolescent females and the new series is intended to be the first of an annual series for males, who are frequently disconnected from the health care system.

“Looking after their health is an issue that rarely concerns adolescent males. We want them to see the health care system as interactive,” said George R. Smith, Jr., MPH, Community Relations Director at the University of Chicago Medicine’s Urban Health Initiative and a co-organizer of the seminar.

“We examined issues and concerns that are appropriate for adolescent males and deal with topics common in growing up, such as learning how to deal with conflicts in their lives,” said Waldo E. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D., Associate Professor at the School of Social Service Administration and a co-organizer of the seminar. Michael Harris, Jr., Community Relations Coordinator for the Office of Community Affairs at the University of Chicago Medicine, is also an organizer for the seminar series. 

The goals of these initiatives are to assist adolescent males in their transition into manhood and their development as future leaders within their communities. 

Faculty Association: 
Waldo Johnson

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