From camp to campus

Kayla Beals knew from a young age that she wanted to work in the health-care sector. So, when she heard about the PLANS African Nova Scotian Health Science Day Camp at Dal, she jumped at the chance to take part.

Four years later, she’s returned to campus — this time as a Medical Sciences student with nearly $50,000 in scholarships. She says the camp helped her decide to focus on becoming a medical doctor (MD) and gave her the tools she needed to plot that path.

PLANS (Promoting Leadership in Health for African Nova Scotians) Day Camps are designed to inspire young Nova Scotians of African descent to consider a career in health care. This past year, camps were held at Dalhousie as well as Cape Breton University and St. Francis Xavier University. There’s also a new Prep Institute to help students develop the skills to succeed in their final years of high school and pursue university programs in the health sciences.

Kayla is happy to see more students of African descent pursuing medical degrees at Dal. This past year, the university graduated six MDs of African descent — its largest class yet. Each of the 2017 graduates were helped along the way by ongoing support from PLANS for students in the faculties of Medicine, Dentistry and Health.

Programs like PLANS help ensure our campus reflects the diversity in our community by supporting access for under-represented groups. After all, creating a welcoming environment demands engagement from all of us.

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Turning 200

Alumnus Burnley “Rocky” Jones helped create the Transition Year Program in 1970 and later the Indigenous Blacks and Mi’kmaq Initiative to improve access to education at Dal.


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