Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Academics: Leadership studies major, medical humanities minor, pre-med concentration
Career aspiration: Career in health care

You interned with World Pediatric Project this summer. What drew you to the organization?

I have a passion for children as well as medicine, so working with World Pediatric Project seemed to be the perfect fit. This organization is doing amazing things with families and children in Central America as well as countries in the Caribbean. It brings children to Richmond for treatment and installs hospitals and medical institutions in these countries. I fell in love with the mission of the organization and was excited about being exposed to a health care environment.

How did you find the internship?   

I learned about the organization during my sophomore year when it was named The International Hospital for Children. I found it when completing my service hours for Justice and Civil Society. I volunteered there and was struck by the passion of the staff and volunteers. When searching for an internship this summer, I decided it was worth a shot. I emailed the director of volunteers, whom I had worked with before.

What was your role?

My internship was a little different than some in that I was mostly in the field. I attended appointments with patients and spent time talking to nurses and doctors, essentially acting as a patient advocate. While most of my time was spent in the hospital and with families, I was given a few projects. The one that I spent the most time and effort on was a food drive for the families.

Were you able to draw on what you have learned in your leadership studies classes?

The material that I have learned in my Jepson classes certainly helped me understand the way in which the organization operates. Theories and Models has been the most helpful and gave me an understanding of different leadership strategies and how they work. I was able to navigate different situations and understand the hierarchy as well as team-based strategies. The leadership structure of the organization applies to many of the topics that we covered in the class and has given me real-world understanding and appreciation for the importance of leadership studies.

Does this change your future?

I see myself working in the medical field, ideally in the sports medicine field. After this internship, though, I am strongly considering the pediatric field. I am also considering postponing medical school for a few years to work with an organization like World Pediatric Project.