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Allison Lee's Field Experience with The Preuss School

Allison Lee is a former UCSD Global Health student who graduated in 2022. Her biggest career priority is finding an occupation where she can contribute to the health and success of underserved communities. Within her personal life she is a strong advocate for children's education and women's health, and has taken it upon herself to support the people in her own communities who are directly affected by such issues.

The Preuss School is a charter school run by UCSD that admits first-generation college students from low-income homes, help them get into college, give them access to educational opportunities, and expose them to various career paths at the middle and high school level.

For 7 months, Allison's main responsibility within her Field Experience was to assist the school nurse/health office with their COVID-19 testing and vaccination compliance initiative. This involved handling the data entry aspects of the COVID testing system, calling parents to sign up their children for vaccination clinics held on campus, and help record and determine which students were (or not) in compliance.

The Field Experience averaged to about 3 days a week, and depending on how early she would arrive, Allison would help the nurses screen the students as they entered campus in the mornings, file important medical documents, enter student information in to register their COVID tests, pull students from class for testing, and help organize and run the testing system. If she had any extra time Allison would assist office administrators with other necessary work, including making copies of documents intended for student distribution, help organize attendance logs, and writing temporary bus passes.

The largest challenge that Allison and the rest of the health office faced was getting students, parents, and teachers to comply with the testing and vaccination regimen, as well as dealing with the sheer volume of responsibility that came with reporting and preventing positive cases. Despite coming up with a testing schedule, many students would either not show up, or teachers would not allow their students to leave class. Similarly, once the students became eligible for vaccination, many students that haven't complied with the vaccination standards or gotten exemptions forget to comply with the weekly testing that is required for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students.

There was a lot of frustration from everyone involved, and being able to calmly and respectfully communicate the expectations was crucial.

Working with children from vulnerable populations was a very eye-opening experience for Allison. She regards the students at The Preuss School to be some of the most kind, respectful, and intelligent group of children that she has ever worked with, and attributes a lot of that to their life experiences and ability to empathize with others. She recalls how there were a particular group of students who- despite her not having any educational nor cosultatory role during her Field Experience- would frequently tell her about their day at school, enlightening her time and again that children are often times very open to learn and connect with others.

Seeing how they interact with each other and with the other staff gives me hope for the future generations, that they can be agents of change and hope in their communities.

During her free time, Allison would have conversations with The Preuss School staff members. She considers them to be an overall amazing group of people dedicated to both the growth of their students, and creating a safe and friendly environment for all. Learning about their lives, and how they got into their careers were nothing short of inspiring for Allison.

As a Global Health major, you learn that everything in life is in some way connected to a person's health.

The entire experience heavily tied back to Allison's Global Health studies in UCSD. In many of her classes, she's had discussions with her fellow students and educators on how much underserved communities and the children living in them can be uplifted through thoughtful care and investments, and she considers The Preuss School to be exemplary of such efforts. Her efforts to keep COVID cases out of the school extends into these communities, helping to keep these kids and their families safe; through her Field Experience, Allison has applied the lessons she learned in an academic setting into the world, having contributed to the overall well-being of our greater community.

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