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Spreading the mission of Good Skin Knowledge

Medical student Katie O’Connell enjoys the opportunity to teach Good Skin Knowledge virtually to AAD Camp Discovery participants and Hornets’ Nest troop members in North Carolina.

Katie’s story

Medical student Katie O’Connell
Katie O’Connell, MS, is a fourth-year medical student at Eastern Virginia Medical School who is passionate about community education and making learning about the skin fun.
I have been teaching Good Skin Knowledge since 2018 when my friends and colleagues Vanessa Ramos, Soquel Rey, and I decided to pair the lesson plans we found online with interactive crafts. Since that time, I have been afforded the opportunity to teach the lessons to Girl Scout troop members and Camp Discovery attendees and there is never a dull moment! Additionally, Vanessa and I partnered with the AAD to train 235 medical students across the country to deliver a series of four lesson plans (Skin Health, Acne, Healthy Sun Habits, and Bugs and Plants) in their local communities. We are so excited to have formed a network of passionate medical student volunteers dedicated to spreading the mission of Good Skin Knowledge.

Each GSK session is filled with laughter, smiles, and most importantly, the opportunity to spread self-confidence and self-love about the skin you are in. During our Camp Discovery reunion session, we taught children with chronic dermatologic conditions the anatomy of the skin, using the skin model. This session was particularly memorable. It was our hope that each attendee would walk away feeling empowered, despite their struggles living with a chronic skin and/or hair condition, and perhaps we may have planted a seed for a career in dermatology! Judging from the smiles in the photo and parent feedback, we consider the addition of the GSK skin layers activity to Camp Discovery a success.

Good Skin Knowledge Hornets' Nest Girl Scout Troop
Kids proudly showed off their skin models.
We also partnered with the Hornets’ Nest Girl Scout troop in rural North Carolina to deliver the GSK curriculum virtually. Specifically, we worked with the community-based troops within the Hornets’ Nest. These are girls who have a barrier for membership, such as finances or transportation. In a normal year, the Hornets’ Nest serves 500-800 girls through community initiatives. It is our hope that as the GSK program continues to grow, we reach a diverse audience of children, including those in underserved communities.

Support Good Skin Knowledge

The Good Skin Knowledge youth education campaign provides free resources to educators to teach children about acne, skin health, and sun protection. Learn more about how you can get involved.

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