Majors: Psychology, Global Health
CFS Program: Field Studies in Public Health
This past winter quarter, I have been interning at EverThrive, a maternal child health policy organization. It has been an amazing experience and has influenced what I want to do after graduation this spring. So far, I have gotten full exposure to all sides of policy and advocacy work. I have been able to create graphics and fact sheets about urgent political issues, while also learning hard skills like how to read a bill or analyze a budget proposal. I have done research on programs like WIC, TANF, SNAP, Medicaid and feel confident discussing any of those topics.
I have also been a part of organizational meetings for EverThrive’s coalitions and have been in charge of social media campaigns and newsletters. One such campaign was their black history month social media campaign. I spent the month of February interviewing organizations in Chicago who work in maternal child health with a racial equity lens and then turned their stories into spotlights for social media.
My main project has been collecting consumer stories to use for advocacy work, letters to the editor, and policy briefs. I have loved talking to consumers one on one and learning about their firsthand experiences with the programs I have been researching all winter. In addition, I have sat in on meetings of interest in the maternal child health world and have been exposed to the relationship between government and non profit organizations. I even get to take a trip down to the capital of Illinois to engage in advocacy work with youth and their representatives.
The experience has been incredibly valuable as well as enjoyable. I have learned what it means to work in public health, to work for social justice, and to work together for a common cause. My colleagues have become peers but also mentors and I believe I will continue to draw from this experience for much of my career.