In 2012, Calvin nursing professor Adejoke Ayoola began a community program seeking to educate inner-city women on reproductive health. The program was so successful that the women asked Ayoola to consider offering something similar for their daughters.

Ayoola began discussions with other nursing department professors and many other campus departments, leading to the creation of the HEALTH Camp: Health, Education, and Leadership Training for a Hopeful future.

Offered for the first time this summer, the free camp for girls between 9 and 15 years old promoted the culture of health, educated girls about their bodies, broadened their vision for their future and helped them ponder where God might be calling them.

With more than 10 Calvin departments involved, the interprofessional and interdisciplinary interaction gave the camp extra strength, which Ayoola hopes will continue. Plans for next year’s camp are under way, and organizers hope it will include research that could be used to inspire those beyond Grand Rapids to reach their community in similar ways.

“We hope the camp brought an increase in knowledge to the girls,” Ayoola said, “but we also hope for change in behavior down the road, that they would actually adopt a culture of health.”