Cutting paper, pulling out staples and coloring bulletin boards might not be what you’d expect first-year medical and health professions students to be doing on a Saturday morning.

But that was the scene last Saturday at P.B. Young, Sr. Elementary School in Young Terrace, when 259 EVMS students traveled to the Norfolk neighborhood as part of Community Impact Day. Young Terrace is a subsidized housing community that is among the poorest 1 percent of neighborhoods in the nation. 

Students performed helpful tasks such as cleaning, decorating and organizing school supplies. 

“A lot of us are hoping to go into general medicine, family medicine and pediatrics,” says David Le, MD Class of 2021. “Service projects like these help us feel more connected to the individual populations we will be working with.”

The event is a collaboration between Norfolk Public Schools and the EVMS M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health.

“EVMS is committed to improving the health of our community,” says Cynthia Romero, MD, Director of the Brock Institute. “We aim to address the most vulnerable and create an environment that is filled with opportunity to be healthier and for advanced education.”

The work the EVMS students are doing also means teachers can focus on the most important task ahead — educating children. “By decorating and cleaning, they are saving so much time for teachers,” says Dwana White, PhD, the school’s Principal. “Now the teachers can come right into the classrooms get back to work.”

See additional photos from Community Impact Day.