Our students in American University’s master’s degree in health promotion management have a unique opportunity. While learning about the art and science of health promotion from esteemed experts in the field, students also can reap all the resume-building benefits of living in the nation’s capital.
Washington, DC, is awash in meaningful, effective nonprofits that choose true impact over lip service. From internships to volunteerism and full-time job opportunities, AU health promotion graduate students should be aware of these six DC nonprofits that are improving health in this region and way beyond:
Partnership for a Healthy America
Based in DC, Partnership for a Healthier America is leveraging the power of private partners to make healthier choices more affordable and accessible to families and children across the country. Leaders such as Michele Obama, companies such as Nike and Dannon, and nonprofits such as YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs of America lend exceptional credibility to the organization.
The work is vast and wide-ranging. For example, American University (AU) joined 25 other campuses and PHA for the Healthier Campus Initiative. These schools are adopting new guidelines around nutrition, physical activity and programming for students and staff.
DC Greens & FoodPrints
Dr. Stacey Snelling, director of AU’s Health Promotion Program, works with DC Greens and FoodPrints to infuse six DC-area public schools with fresh fruits and vegetables into school systems.
Actually, it’s a two-pronged approach. DC Greens supplies the food while FoodPrints integrates gardening, cooking, and nutrition education into the curriculum.
The reach of each of these small but substantive organizations goes far beyond this school program—and both have plenty of room for volunteers and interns alike.
A Wider Circle
Mark Bergel, who earned an MS in health promotion management from American University, received the prestigious CNN Hero Award in 2014 for starting A Wider Circle in 2001. The mission is simple but powerful: “to end poverty for one individual and one family after another.” Through various community programs, A Wider Circle provides basic need items, education, and long-term support.
A Wider Circle also is a great source of health promotion internship and job opportunities—for students intrigued by bold, committed work.
National Business Group on Health
The National Business Group on Health, which launched more than 30 years ago, comprises mostly Fortune 500 companies with a clear focus: Provide and promote practical solutions to companies’ most important health care problems.
These companies believe controlling health care costs and improving patient safety and quality of care helps the whole world, not just a few select industries or a certain demographic. They fully understand that health and wellness are vital for individuals, communities and society.
Center for Science in the Public Interest
For more than 40 years, CSPI has been using science and data to advocate for key health-related efforts at the national level—for instance, issues such as soda consumption and the unhealthiness of “kids meals.”
In 2013, CSPI demonstrated that 97 percent of restaurant children’s meals are unhealthy. That alarming statistic led to a campaign urging eateries to improve the nutrition value of these meals and to stop marketing unhealthy food to children.
The Washington, DC, area features some of the most effective health promotion organizations in the US. These groups, which help keep critical needs at the forefront, also serve as abundant learning tools for the health promotion management students at American University.
“The opportunity for research, internships, and hands-on experience that is connected with this graduate program is unmatched,” said Annessa Bontrager, a 2015 MS graduate who already has begun full-time work at Partnership for a Healthy America. The professors in the Health Promotion Management Program have a genuine desire to positively impact the surrounding community, and that is infectious.”
Interested in helping or working for organizations like these?
Read more blog posts and learn how the Health Promotion Management Program at American University prepares students to make a difference.