I am interested in the effect of socioeconomic inequality on global health disparities. What began as a general interest in poverty, developed through my time at Bowdoin and experiences abroad into its current focus. Having secured a summer internship at a globally focused public health nonprofit, I am poised to further my learning in a professional setting.
I grew up in southern Maine and graduated from the same school district where I began kindergarten. No one would say my school was diverse, but there were significant socioeconomic differences that played an important role in our community. Exposure to the poverty and struggles of some of my peers fueled an interest in economic inequality, and drove me to major in economics at Bowdoin. My interest in poverty broadened to a global context when I volunteered in Kenya and Guatemala. And it was there that I witnessed how economic disparities can influence access to healthcare and exposure to health risks. In Kenya, I lived and worked at an orphanage for children, many of whose parents had died of AIDS. In Guatemala, the parents of my students worked in the city garbage dump where they were exposed to countless health risks. These experiences narrowed my interest in poverty to its effects on health and solidified my desire to explore global health disparities in my career.
My internship at Partners for World Health will allow me to explore this interest and develop career skills. Partners for World Health collects discarded medical supplies from hospitals, sorts them, and sends them to hospitals in need around the world. I will perform several jobs at the internship including researching grants, working on fundraising events, supporting volunteers, and assisting the directors as they need. But the role that I am most excited about will be analyzing data for their Project 10,000. Last year, Partners for World Health assembled 10,000 birthing kits for women in Senegal. This May, a group of nurses will return to Senegal and collect information from those women about their births and the success of the kits. My job will be to analyze and present this data in order to judge if the kits were helpful and recommend possible changes. This will give me a chance to apply what I’ve learned in economics. Lastly, jumping into many different jobs will strengthen my organization and leadership skills.