The Wellness University began in 2003 as a pilot program with a $19,000 grant from the United Way of the Mid-South Venture Fund and has grown into a comprehensive program with a budget of $305,289 annually. The program has become one of the most utilized programs offered by Friends For Life as well as being noted in the community for its success in improving the lives of persons living with HIV/AIDS.
The Wellness University has been developed to model a traditional educational setting in which ‘students’ earn credits for attending classes as well as participating in other activities such as medical treatment, mental health and substance abuse services and other supportive services. Each student earns five credits for each class or doctor appointment, etc. that is attended. Once 100 credits are earned, the student moves from Freshman to Sophomore, etc. until 400 credits are earned and the student graduates with a ‘Certificate in Wellness’. A celebration is held quarterly to honor those students who are moving through the program.