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University of Iowa News Release

July 9, 2004

UI Helps Recognize Des Moines Youth For Community Work

The University of Iowa took part in a special ceremony June 24 to recognize two groups of young women for their community service and outreach efforts: "The Wild Girls" and the "Kids in Health Careers and Community Service".

The Wild Girls, an after-school program for adolescent girls sponsored by the Children and Families Urban Ministry of Des Moines, raised $1,600 selling cookie dough as part of a fundraising project and donated the money to homeless patients of Primary Health Care Inc. in Des Moines to help cover the cost of their medications. The Wild Girls meets at Trinity United Methodist Church.

Kids in Health Careers and Community Services is a mentoring program for girls in elementary to middle school. The girls are residents of the Homes of Oakridge apartment complex, an Enterprise community designated for federal grants. The staff at Primary Health Care, which is located across the street from Homes of Oakridge, meets with the girls twice a month to introduce them to opportunities in the various health careers. The staff also arranges field trips to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines and the Des Moines Area Community College Urban Campus, which gives the group access to computer labs to research health careers, as well as advance their technology skills.

The program has benefited from the generosity of Dr. Paul Mahone, a Des Moines area physician; the Anne Case Foundation; the Watson-Powell Community Foundation and the consistent support from and participation by Mercy Hospital.

During the June 24 ceremony, about 25 girls were spotlighted and received certificates. Irv Burnett, multicultural affairs coordinator of the University of Iowa's Opportunity at Iowa program, spoke at the event, encouraging the youth to continue doing their good work and to keep college in their future plans. The ceremony took place at the DMACC Urban Campus.

Opportunity at Iowa, a part of the UI Office of the Provost, works to create and maintain campus diversity and provide opportunities for all university students interested in other cultures.

Opportunity at Iowa is located at 224 Jessup Hall at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. For more information, call (319) 335-3555 or 1-800-553-IOWA (4692), or email

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, Lois Baker, Opportunity at Iowa, 319-335-3555