Salem College student Charlene Hunt was among the first graduates of a new internship program sponsored by the North Carolina American Indian Health Board (NCAIHB), the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity (MACHE) and Health Career Connections of Oakland, California.
The program was created to address health disparities and limited access to culturally competent health care for Native Americans in North Carolina, and to encourage undergraduate students, particularly those from under-represented backgrounds, to pursue careers in health care and public health.
Hunt, a senior enrolled in Salem’s Martha H. Fleer Center for Adult Education, interned with the North Carolina Indian Health Board. The education major worked for the organization in a variety of capacities, which gave her a broader perspective of the needs of the community it serves.
“I gained a better understanding of the community work that needs to be done to help educate and bring awareness to the issues of health disparities among minorities. We are not heard if we are not at the table,” says Hunt.
Hunt was among only 12 graduates of the program, with students hailing from such institutions as Wake Forest, Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill.