By Jerry W. Perkins
Adjunct Faculty, College of Nursing and Healthcare Professions
Future Healthcare Administrators student club (FHCA) is a student organization dedicated to providing useful information to students of Grand Canyon University that are currently pursuing a degree, or are interested in the field of healthcare administration. This student-organized group is open to any student of GCU, and there are no dues, just a fun, safe place to meet peers and ask questions.
October 3 saw the second club meeting for the 2018-2019 school year of the FHCA. FHCA was pleased to offer the opportunity for members to meet and question Chance Bogart, Community Engagement Manager for the Homeless Youth Connection (HYC). Chance brought two of his newest interns with him to speak to the club, Veronica Bowers and Erika Navarrete (a senior attending GCU right now).
Homeless Youth Connection is a local charity that was conceived by Larry Cervarich in 2009 after reading an article on the 8,000 homeless high school teenagers in Maricopa County. These teenagers had nowhere to go and many of them were forced to drop out of high school. Wanting to give back to the community that he lived in, Larry worked with his Rotary club, church and community leaders to found HYC in 2010.
As HYC grew as an organization, it went from helping one teen graduate in 2009, 80 teens in 2010 and is now on track to help between 700 and 800 high school teens during the 2018-2019 school year. HYC offers services to the teens including, clothing, hygiene items, food gift cards, host families and counseling, along with school supplies and tutoring.
As Chance mentioned during the meeting, homelessness is often a stigmatized classification, so it is believed by many in the community the number of homeless teens is undercounted and is more likely to be 11,000 in this county alone. Although HYC is serving and helping approximately 800 students, Chance admits that this number is likely only 10 percent or less of the population and that there is plenty of work still to be done.
Volunteer opportunities were presented, as well as suggestions for activities that GCU students could host or provide to make a difference in this community. This year, HYC was able to gain the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Bureau Administration on Children, Youth and Families – Family and Youth Services Bureau Transitional Living Program Grant which will help with transitional living. However, just a couple of volunteer hours assisting in sorting donated clothes, stocking or providing hygiene items or tutoring a high school teen to help them meet their goals helps a lot. These teens complete the program by attending a college (60 percent), a vocational school (5 percent), joining the military (2 percent) or entering the workforce with their first full-time job (25 percent).
This event was well attended with over 35 healthcare administration major and major interested students. We hope to see even more interest in upcoming meetings such as career planning on October 10 and the ACHE meeting (must RSVP) on October 24.
For more information on the Homeless Youth Connection, please ask a student leader, or visit www. http://hycaz.org/.
Do you think that Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration degree could be right for you? If so, then please visit the GCU website or click the Request More Information button on this page.