I AM FPHLP 2015: David Devon Bowens

David Devon BowensDavid Devon Bowens was part of the 2015 FPHLP cohort. He recently graduated from The University of Texas at El Paso where he studied Health Promotion with a minor in African-American Studies. During his time in Michigan, David worked with the Henry Ford Health System, where he helped to train twelve Youth Wellness Ambassadors. He also had the opportunity to plan and coordinate community outreach events to address a critical need for nutrition education. At the Eastern Market Corporation (EMC), David conducted economic impact collection evaluations to inform potential stakeholders on the success of programs that EMC hosted throughout the summer.

Prior to FPHLP, David had never been to Michigan. He says, “The biggest challenge for me was stepping outside of my comfort zone.” Once he met his cohort, however, he quickly developed tight bonds with his peers. “Everyone spoke about ‘not being different from me, but being different like me’ … the program helped me learn to accept and appreciate the differences in myself and others.” David explains that the highlights of his experience included having a chance to explore the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia and becoming close friends with his cohort members, collectively referred to as the “SQUAD.” “They made my experience in FPHLP that much more memorable.”

Since the program ended, David went back to work as a Healthy Miner Sex Positive Peer Educator and recently started working as a Program Mentor for the A.G. Gaston Boys & Girls Club. He also was accepted and began graduate school in the Health Behavior program at The University of Alabama-Birmingham. He plans to graduate with his MPH in 2017. In considering what advice he would give to someone considering applying to the FPHLP, David says, "Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges. The FPHLP program is a place where you can grow as an individual and the journey will help you love something greater than yourself. Lastly, work hard, but also have a lot of fun!"