ALLIANCE, Ohio — The University of Mount Union was recently awarded a $34,500 grant from the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) to participate in its Faith in the Vaccine Ambassadors (FIVA) project.
The project is the largest grant project in IFYC history with roughly 2,000 students from 113 colleges and universities across the country participating. Mount Union had 18 students, undergraduate and graduate, involved in the project and they were led by Dr. Niki Johnson, professor of philosophy and religious studies.
“I was thrilled that Mount Union received the grant,” Johnson said. “Our ability to get 18 enthusiastic undergraduate and graduate students speaks to the type of student we have here at Mount Union.”
Over the course of the six-month program, students were trained and paid a $1,500 stipend through the IFYC to develop initiatives that encourage both trust in and access to the vaccine in the Alliance and surrounding communities. The students created a variety of pieces as part of the project, including videos, flyers and posters. They also attended events in the Alliance community to hand out information as well as presented programs about the importance of the vaccine.
“Students had to reach out to community and campus leaders to find out how best to assist in new or ongoing efforts to provide both access to and information about the vaccine,” Johnson said. They also had to work in small groups or individually to accomplish their initial goals. It was great to see the variety of activities they pursued to get shots in arms. I'm really proud of their work!”
Learn more about the IFYC’s FIVA project at ifyc.org/faith-and-public-health.