IN COLLABORATION WITH Harvard Chan C-CHANGE
Tackling Public Health Challenges to Address Inequities and Climate Realities
July 25–July 31, 2021 Tuition: $3,990 Location: Harvard Chan C-CHANGE, Boston, MA
Dive into issues of public health alongside peers, educators, and leading professionals from the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE) on this high school summer program. Choose an Action Focus based on your interests and explore how public health is intertwined with racial and social justice, economics, and climate change. Gain perspective from scientists, world leaders, and politicians about the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges and opportunities for navigating global public health issues. Engage with themes such as climate, pandemics, public policy, and air and water quality over the course of the program and develop a capstone project to transform your ideas into action.
This program was developed in collaboration with Gina McCarthy, National Climate Adviser to the Biden/Harris Administration and former Director of Harvard Chan C-CHANGE and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Learn from experts at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, as well as leading academics, policymakers, and scientists working in fields related to public health. Participate in workshops, attend lectures, and take advantage of all Boston has to offer.learn more
Gain inspiration from the experiences and perspectives of political and industry leaders, including the Director of Harvard Chan C-CHANGE.learn more
Develop a capstone project based on your interests and round out the program with a presentation to your peers, sharing your vision for practical action to make change in your community.learn more
“I am excited to be a part of a program at Harvard that will help give students the tools to tackle both the biggest challenge and opportunity of any generation born to this earth so far.”
— Harvard Senior fellow Governor Peter Shumlin
The Harvard Chan C-CHANGE Youth Summit on Public Health brings together motivated and like-minded young people to learn from and be inspired by community leaders, scientists, healthcare providers, and each other.
Each student chooses an Action Focus based on their interests—Community Health, Environmental Health, Epidemiology & Infectious Disease, Global Health, or Policy. This Action Focus acts as the lens through which students view the challenges and opportunities of public health. Each day, Action Focus groups and instructors meet to delve into the complex systems within their Focus, discuss and brainstorm how to address challenges, and prepare capstone projects.
Daily workshops, Action Focus meetings, and guest speaker events take place at academic buildings in Boston, Massachusetts. Offsite and field-based learning activities balance classroom and workshop time.
Residence & Accommodations
Students and residential instructors reside at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, just a short walk away from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. Rooms are doubles and assigned by age; genders are separated by floor; and staff reside on the same floors as students. Residence Halls have 24-hr front desk security, high-speed wifi, air conditioning, and on-site laundry facilities.
Activities & Excursions
Outside of thematic program activities, students take advantage of all the culture, history, and cuisine that Boston and Harvard have to offer, including visits to the Boston Common, the North End, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and Harvard Yard. Stroll the streets of Harvard Square, kayak the Charles River, or play frisbee on the quad.
Join a community of high school students and instructors with diverse interests and a shared passion for public health. This vibrant and dynamic community of motivated individuals comprises students from across the U.S. and around the world.
Students gain important context for our health challenges from guest lecturers and workshop leaders, as well as inspiration for ways forward. Residential program instructors also lead smaller Action Focus teams in discussions, hands-on activities, and field trips, while serving as mentors and helping students shape their capstone project presentations.
Guest lecturers bring to the program diverse backgrounds with high-level, real-world experiences and insights. Each speaker structures their lecture to relate to the five Action Focuses and their area of expertise. For example, an expert in air quality and pulmonary disease might discuss how air quality is directly linked to climate change and how communities of color in urban areas are the most affected by pollution and a lack of access to good healthcare. They might expand on how health issues stemming from poor environmental health can be addressed in a local community, on a global scale, or through policy changes which will have a direct impact on the future spread of infectious disease.
Interim Director of The Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE), Pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and leader of Climate MD, a program to encourage physicians to incorporate climate change in their healthcare practice.
Each day features a combination of Action Focus seminars, hands-on activities, excursions, and guest speaker events with the entire program body. After breakfast, depending on the day, Action Focus learning may start in classrooms and meetings spaces on campus, or the students and instructors may travel to a nearby site for field-based learning. After lunch, Action Focus seminars continue. Afternoons and evenings offer opportunities to explore the cultural side of Boston, participate in sporting activities, or work on independent projects. After dinner, students and instructors from all Action Focus groups convene for guest speaker events and evening activities. On the final two days of the program, students focus on their final projects, which they present on the final evening.
The Harvard Chan C-CHANGE Youth Summit on Public Health is designed to educate, empower, and prepare students to take leadership roles in the field of public health. Students who attend the program will:
Students receive, upon presentation of their Capstone Project, a certificate of program completion, presented by former Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and endorsed by Harvard Chan C-CHANGE.
Scholarship opportunities are available through the Putney Open Door Fund. The Putney Open Door Fund is a nonprofit foundation whose purpose is to eliminate barriers for young people seeking educational summer experiences. The Fund’s Board of Directors is committed to making the immeasurable benefits of transformative travel available to all students, regardless of their economic status.
The Putney Open Door Fund limits eligibility to students who are U.S. residents, whose parents’ combined annual income is no more than $50,000, and who have few assets. Scholarships are awarded annually. Many applications are received and allocation is competitive.
How to apply for a scholarship
To be considered for a scholarship, candidates must meet eligibility criteria and complete a Putney Open Door Fund application. For more information and to access summer 2021 application materials, please visit the Putney Open Door Fund scholarship opportunities page.
* Scholarships cover tuition in full and any domestic airfare (if necessary) to have the student meet the group. The scholarship does not cover spending money, required packing list items, or baggage fees.
Peace of Mind Payment & Refund Policy
In light of uncertainty regarding travel during 2021, the $700 payment ($200 application fee and $500 tuition deposit) required to hold space on one of our programs this summer is 100% refundable for any reason until April 15, 2021.
If after April 15 you decide you aren’t comfortable traveling on your program, we will work with you to find a space on another program you’re excited about. If you don’t have a second choice program and decide not to travel, your payment is non-refundable.
To read our FAQs about Covid-19 and travel in 2021, click here.