I am done with my internship and I just want to express how thankful I am for this opportunity. I am thankful for the people who donated money for me to come, I am thankful for my boss for taking me on as an intern, and I am thankful to the entire Health and Social Justice team for taking the time at every opportunity to make this internship as much as a learning opportunity as possible. I am also grateful for the trust they put in me to lead such a big and important project. I was able to learn and grow tremendously. Not only does the team consist of 4 incredibly intelligent and hard working men, but they are also some of the most kind people I have ever met. It was such a pleasure to work with them.
I am now back home. I left with both projects I was working on unfinished so look forward to hearing what the final conclusions and next steps are. I hope that one day I can come back to visit and collaborate on more projects.
This internship has also shaped what I want to focus my career on. Before coming here I knew I wanted to study health behavior and health education with a focus on research and global health. But after being here I have realized that I want to specialize on reproductive and sexual health with a focus on gender and sexual minorities. Out of all my public health classes I was most interested and engaged in the two lectures I had about reducing HIV/AIDS within the LGBTQ community. However, it wasn’t until being in Senegal and realizing the true hardships they face and how it can hurt their health that I realized that this is what I want to focus my career on. I don’t know if that means in the U.S., in Senegal, or wherever in the world, but the issue is everywhere. I am hoping to continue to grow my skills and knowledge surrounding this topic by working for the sex lab this fall. I hope it works out!
Thank you LS&A for the support!