SOPHE 21st Century Scholars share their summit experiences

SOPHE supports students to attend the Advocacy Summit. Read more about their experience in our nation’s capitol.

Evelyn Garcia

21st Century Scholar Evelyn Garcia
21st Century Scholar Evelyn Garcia

“We never hear about all the ways we can advocate for disease prevention; from sending emails and letters, to calling legislative offices and sending social media messages, to attending town halls.”

Evelyn shared her experience, lessons learned and the advocacy skills she cultivated with public health students at the University of Texas at El Paso during a workshop. In November, Evelyn led a group of students through an advocacy training to enhance their impact.

Participants learned skills that can be applied to advocating for access to healthcare, LGBTQ rights, education funding, environmental health, criminal justice reform and more. There is an event in the planning stages for the College of Health Sciences of the University of Texas at El Paso.

Evelyn also gave a presentation at SOPHE’s Paso del Notre Summit to encourage SOPHE members to join our advocacy efforts.

“It’s very exciting that after my experience at the Summit other students are having a conversation about the importance of advocating and want to learn more.”


Tyler James

21st Century Scholar Tyler James
21st Century Scholar Tyler James

Tyler is a doctoral student from the University of Florida, was encouraged by previous summit participants to attend because the health education field continues to evolve.

For the past several years, Tyler worked in the fields of health education and health education preparation but the experience he gained from the advocacy summit are unmatched by his former practice or his classroom-based experiences.

“Now that I have attended the summit, I feel that my toolbox of methods for promoting health has improved substantially. Further, I feel more comfortable engaging in discussions related to prevention – especially regarding tobacco use and diabetes prevention.”

 The Hill visits produced an internalization of the points made during the summit — the health education specialist is vital to advocacy efforts in public health.