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Mentor: Ashley Cooper
Mentee: Isabella, Shreena, and Shivali
Project: orthopedic effects of backpacks, neurological disorders, and WEEMA collaboration for Ethiopian empowerment, respectively
Being a mentor for the Global Health & Leadership Conference over these past two years has been a highlight of my Harvard experience. It is incredible to see how devoted these high school students are to such a myriad of global health topics. Particularly, I find it exciting that we are cultivating a generation of global-minded thinkers at a younger age than typical. For this year's conference, I am mentoring three students, Shreena, who is doing a project on Neurological Disorders, Shivali who is doing advocacy work and research with WEEMA international to empower the Ethiopian community, and Isabella, who did a comprehensive research study of 67 students at her high school evaluating orthopedic effects of overloaded backpacks on students. It has been an honor to watch these students grow as scientists, and guiding them along the way with their diversity of inquiries. But most rewarding, has been my ability to see these students grow as individuals, and the perspective shift which has been afforded to them through serving as global health researchers.
Isabella and Shivali projects have prompted tangible impacts on communities. Isabella brought awareness to the administration at her school through her data on the orthopedic implications of backpacks, catalyzing their support of a longitudinal study of how to increase locker among the student body, which will continue next year. Shivali surpassed her fundraising goal and subsequently helped fund approximately 23 cataract surgeries under WEEMA.
This year, it has also been a pleasure leading FIMRC to take a very active role in planning the conference. As a part of our Harvard FIMRC Domestic Outreach & Volunteering Committee, Brie, Huong and I created a Case Study for this year's Conference, centralized on lack of accessibility to surgery in rural communities, both domestically and globally. Students from the conference will actively engage with the case study that we created, gleaning a better understanding of how lack of accessibility impacts communities worldwide. Further, our chapter will host a two-hour presentation session at the conference, informing students of volunteer opportunities at the FIMRC project sites and how they can participate in FIMRC as a Summer International Health Fellow.
Isabella's final project paper and PowerPoint are linked below.