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With May on the horizon, the school year is wrapping up for many graduate students. But for the class of just-selected 2010-11 Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows, this time of year marks a beginning rather than an end.

Take Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellow Ryan Hollon. Over the next twelve months, this University of Illinois at Chicago doctoral student will be  partnering with St. Leonard’s Ministries to build community peacemaking capacity in high-incarceration Chicago neighborhoods by training former prisoners in restorative justice methods.

Or DePaul University nursing students Courtney Driscoll and Sara Rosenthal, who will launch a year-long health education program aimed at empowering Chicago youth to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Over the next year, Hollon, Driscoll, Rosenthal, and 28 other 2010-11 Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows will join over 200 Schweitzer Fellows across the country in conceptualizing and carrying out service projects that address the health needs of underserved individuals and communities.

In keeping with the Fellowship’s mission of developing Leaders in Service through interdisciplinary means, the 2010-11 Chicago Area Fellows represent 18 different university programs including medicine, nursing, psychology, public health, social work, art therapy, and law.

We’ll keep you posted as these new Fellows address unmet health needs in Chicago and Cook County (and develop into Leaders in Service in the process). In the meantime, you can browse the new Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows’ projects here — we hope you’ll be as excited as we are about the impact they’re aiming to deliver.

Click here to support the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program, now in its fifteenth year. Click here to download an informational brochure about the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program, which is administered by Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, a Chicago nonprofit that focuses on health care access of the working poor and uninsured.