Girls Inc., SHARING collaboration a winner

by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | October 28, 2014

Image with caption: Nora Kovar, a second-year medical student, speaks with young girls at a SHARING Clinics presentation at Girls Inc.

Nora Kovar, a second-year medical student, speaks with young girls at a SHARING Clinics presentation at Girls Inc.

As physical therapy student Alexa Mehesan talks about dental hygiene, second-year medical student Nora Kovar sits to one side, translating the lesson in Spanish for two of the little girls clustered around the two UNMC students.

Mehesan and Kovar are members of the SHARING Clinic, and on this Thursday night, they are at the Girls Inc. office in South Omaha, presenting the latest in a series of health care-related topics to a group of girls ranging in age from kindergarten to third grade.

"One thing that's nice about the group of students we've had coming is that we're not just from one college," said Kovar, who was making her second presentation for Girls Inc. "We have medical students, physical therapists, pharmacy students."

"For (the girls) to be able to see the range of possibilities that you can go into in the health care field is important," Kovar said, adding that once the latest round of presentations is finished, the SHARING students and advisors will create a new presentation focusing on those different careers in health and science.

UNMC and Girls Inc. announced a partnership earlier this year. The presentations are part of the collaboration.

Mehesan said it was nice to be able to act as role models for the young girls.

And the presentations are popular. Fatema Graves, director of operations at the South Omaha Girls Inc., said the youngsters love the presentations, and her own staff who sit in give the SHARING students rave reviews.

"We're always trying to figure out ways to teach the girls to live healthy lifestyles, whether using proper hygiene, or eating healthy foods and snacks," Graves said. "So it's a perfect fit -- they really seem to enjoy it."

Kovar, who is interested in pediatric medicine, said it was rewarding to be able to work with younger children.

"It's always nice to get off campus and work with a younger group," she said.

Mehesan agreed.

"Just being able to interact with the kids, it's a fun opportunity," she said.

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