Past/current experience working in the MCH field:
After receiving my undergraduate degree in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, I worked as a sexual health educator at the Cook County Jail and at Fantus’ Family Planning Clinic, Stroger Hospital’s outpatient center. Following that opportunity, I served as a health educator with AmeriCorpss Nation Health Corps and was placed at one of Erie Family Health Center’s school- based health clinic. After completing my term of service with AmeriCorps, I worked as a birth and post-partum doula. Seeking a more routine schedule, I began working at Planned Parenthood. For a year and a half I worked as a reproductive health assistant at the Planned Parenthood Rogers Park clinic and then transition to the Chicago Health Adolescent and Teens team. While on the CHAT Team, my co-workers and I traveled to 45 Chicago high schools to teach students about sexually transmitted infections and birth control and to offer them in-school testing for STIs. We connected students with positive STI results to free treatment and other sexual health services.
I am also trained as a sexual assault crisis counselor. I volunteered for Rape Advocacy, Counseling, and Education Services (RACES) in Urbana and Rape Victim Advocates (RVA) in Chicago since 2013. These organizations trained me to counsel and support survivors of sexual violence in hospital ED settings and advance institutional change by working with hospital staff and law enforcement on the survivor’s behalf.
Areas of interest within MCH and future professional goals:
My focus is on women’s sexual and reproductive health, chiefly through education and policy changes. Professionally, I aim to expand equitable access to abortion care, especially for the LGBTQ community and rural, economically disadvantaged, and/or minority women.
I’m a geography nerd and can name all the countries in the world. Next up, I want to learn country flags and capital cities.