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We want to learn from, educate, and empower the next generation of young public health leaders

About Us

Our mission is to foster advocacy and leadership in collaboration with 10th and 11th grade students from the District of Columbia and Prince George's County

     The COVID-19 pandemic was a global disaster that exacerbated health outcomes for children, especially those belonging to under-served and under-resourced communities. We believe children themselves are stakeholders of their own well-being, and thus, should be empowered as contributory change-agents.

     We developed “Project Insight” for 10th and 11th grade high school students in the Washington, D.C metro area to learn about disaster preparedness, social drivers of health, and health justice in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. After completing the program, students will be given the opportunity to serve on a Youth Advisory Council for a national coalition called the Pediatric Pandemic Network.  


     We choose the name “Project Insight” because we hope this program will empower youth to gain insight about the root causes of health injustices while simultaneously providing the Pediatric Pandemic Network and other stakeholders with insight on how to address these challenges.



What You'll Learn

We've tailor made an 11-session program for teen leaders like you!
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Community Resilience

  • Define social drivers of health, community resilience, disaster preparedness, and health justice.

Program Components


Collaborate with and learn from young health professionals.

Meet organizations, advocates, activists, educators, and health professionals that serve the DMV.
Health Justice Education

Our culturally responsive syllabus is engaging and interactive - you will learn about resources, projects, and policies that affect the health of your community.

We want to connect you with hospital and community partners - our goal is for everyone to leave this program connected with a project or opportunity they are passionate about.
Doctor's Desk


By participating in this program, you will help us conduct important research! Before, during, and after the program, you will take several multiple-choice answer surveys that help us research if our program is effective in changing your:

  1. Awareness of the relationship between social issues and health outcomes

  2. Perceptions of community resources and support

  3. Development of critical consciousness - or "the capacity to recognize socio-political injustices and act towards personal and collective improvement."

  4. Attitudes about social responsibility

  5. Socio-political activity on social media

  6. Action-based behaviors in service of your community

Deciding to participate in this research could help us show that programs like Project Insight are important and impactful!

Frequently Asked Questions

1 / What will I gain by joining Project Insight?
  • your complete participation will grant you a $500 payment that will be paid out in 5x $100 increments throughout the program. This payment is to compensate you for research involvement. This money is loaded automatically on a pre-paid card. Additional details will be provided after you are accepted into the program.

  • local, regional, and national advocacy opportunities 

  • community service hours

  • letters of recommendation

  • mentorship

  • reimbursement for travel costs

  • free food and swag bags

2/ What happens after the program ends?

After participating in Project Insight, a select group of students will be eligible to serve on a local and national Youth Advisory Council for the Pediatric Pandemic Network (

That means you can be a voice advocating for change in your community and across the country!

3/ When is Project Insight?

Dates are subject to change, but will likely be:

  • Jan 20 

  • Feb 3

  • Feb 24 

  • March 9 

  • March 23 

  • March 30 

  • April 6 

  • April 27

  • May  4

  • May 18 

  • June 1 - Graduation Day!


Each session will last approximately 4 hours. All dates are on Saturdays.

4/ Where is Project Insight?

While the location is subject to change, most sessions will occur at the:

  • Latin American Youth Center (near the Columbia Heights Metro) at 1419 Columbia Rd NW Washington D.C. 20009

Some sessions may occur at

  • the main Children's National Hospital at 111 Michigan Ave NW Washington D.C. 20010

You will be notified in advance of any location changes.

5/ How will you select participants?

For select participants, this will be a two-year time commitment. Therefore, we are looking for students who are able to commit to Project Insight this year and potentially next year.

We are also looking for students who have

  • internet access at home

  • a laptop/iPad to look up homework assignments

  • a laptop/iPad to bring to sessions

  • transportation to each session (we will provide $55 in travel reimbursement at the beginning of the program)

 If you want to be a part of the program but don't have internet, a laptop/iPad, or transportation - still apply! We may be able to work something out.  


We will prioritize recruiting students who identify as Underrepresented in Medicine (UIM), LGBTQ+, and/or as persons with disabilities.

UIM is defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) as Black, Mexican American, Native American (American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian), and mainland Puerto Rican populations.


We will prioritize recruiting students from Prince George's County and the District of Columbia (especially Wards 1, 4, 5, 7, and 8) who would be the first person in their families to go to college.

6/ How do I apply?

Click here to open and submit the application. 

Applications are due December 8th, 2023

  • If you submit written essay responses, no further action is necessary. 

  • If you elect to submit video essay responses, one easy, final step is required to submit your application. You'll receive an email with additional instructions. 

We will select 20 students.

You will be notified of a decision by December 15, 2023


Got more questions?

Follow Us on Instagram!

We're just getting started but follow along for updates! Also check out our blog!

Meet Our Team

Our team is comprised of passionate individuals from Children's National Hospital and the George Washington University School of Medicine 

Alex Villeda, M.D.

Program Director/Facilitator

Pronouns: He/Him
  • Pediatric Resident, PL-3

  • Leadership in Advocacy, Under-resourced Communities and Health Equity (LAUnCH) Track

  • Children's National Hospital

Briyana "Chizzy" Chisholm, M.D.

Program Coordinator/Facilitator

Pronouns: She/Her

  • Pediatric Resident, PL-1

  • Leadership in Advocacy, Under-resourced Communities and Health Equity (LAUnCH) Track

  • Children's National Hospital

Jordan Pizzarro

Program Coordinator/Facilitator

Pronouns: She/Her
  • Medical Student, MS4

  • George Washington University School of Medicine

Darcel Jackson, CPXP

Program Staff

Pronouns: She/Her
  • Manager, Patient and Family Centered Care

  • Children's National Hospital

Siah Wingfield

Program Staff

Pronouns: They/Them
  • Staff Assistant, Patient and Family Centered Care

  • Children's National Hospital

Bobbe Thomas

Program Staff

  • Clinical Research Program Manager

  • Children's National Hospital

Sephora Morrison Headshot 2022.jpg
Sephora Morrison, M.B.B.S

Principle Investigator

  • Associate Division Chief, Emergency Medicine

  • Children's National Hospital

Joelle Simpson, M.D., MPH

Pediatric Pandemic Network Co-Investigator

Pronouns: She/Her
  • Chief of Emergency Medicine

  • Children's National Hospital

Mark Batshaw, M.D.

Pediatric Pandemic Network Co-Investigator
  • Professor of Pediatrics

  • Children's National Hospital

A Special Thank You 

This project was supported by Pediatric Pandemic Network resources. The Pediatric Pandemic Network is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of grant awards U1IMC43532 and U1IMC45814 with O percent financed with nongovernmental sources. The content presented here Is that of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by HRSA. HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more Information. visit

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