Medicine for Los Angeles

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Categories: Advocacy, health care, Leadership

July 8, 2015 – By Dejauwne Young

Today, we held a meeting at The L.A. Trust and I was given the wonderful opportunity to meet Dr. Slavkin, a scientist, public health advocate, a member of The L.A. Trust Board, and lover of humanity. Dr. Slavkin spent the majority of his academic career at USC, making him not only a fellow Trojan but also an esteemed individual. During the course of Dr. Slavkin’s amazing career, he discovered various concepts and ideas about the human condition and the state of our planet, and during his talk, he imparted this knowledge unto us. In regard to the human condition, Dr. Slavkin touched on an idea that too few of us ever speak up about—selflessness. Being a country governed by capitalism, the word selflessness is almost forbidden; however, the idea behind the word has the potential to change the trajectory of our planet and Los Angeles County especially.  Los Angeles County alone, is one of the wealthiest places in the world and sadly, coupled with all of that wealth, we find selfishness. Based on the thoughts of Dr. Slavkin selfishness is what causes us to conveniently walk past a fellow human being sleeping in a card board box; selfishness is that thing that tells us it’s okay to have entire cities within Los Angeles County living in third world conditions; selfishness is at the center of many issues we face here in Los Angeles. And only by gradually becoming more selfless can we begin to make effective change in Los Angeles, change that can remedy pain and poverty, thus building a better city for our children.

The L.A. Trust is a non-profit organization that seeks to remedy the effects of selfishness in Los Angeles, by consistently and selflessly pouring itself into the children of Los Angeles.  As an organization, The L.A. Trust believes that by improving the overall well-being of the children in Los Angeles County, the issues that plague our cities will consequently start to unravel. One of the projects that I myself have been working on is the Linked Learning Pilot Program, which is a program that serves to provide employment for LAUSD youth with the purpose of educating them on health careers, wellness, and student advocacy, with an underlying focus on the wellness centers across the district. In the Linked Learning Program, I’ve met amazing students who completely defy the stigma that comes with living and learning in underrepresented communities within Los Angeles. These students are energetic, kind, and incredibly gifted, with particular talents in the realms of media, science, and creativity. Watching these students willingly learn and engage with the ideas of wellness and peer advocating fuels my hope in Dr. Slavkin’s idea of selflessness and the mission of The L.A. Trust to improve the future of Los Angeles, and I am honored to be a part of this crusade.

djDejauwne Young is an undergraduate student at USC majoring in neuroscience.  He comes to The L.A. Trust as a scholar in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Maternal and Child Health Careers/ Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement (MCHC/RISE-UP) program.  This summer, Dejauwne is supporting the development and evaluation of the LAUSD Linked Learning Pilot Program. 

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