June 8, 2017 9:30 am

Meet the Summer Interns 2017 (Part 1)

Written by  Aidan Wells
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The first half of our Summer 2017 Interns have finally arrived in Lima! Keep reading to learn more about them!

Aidan Wells: Communications Intern

aidanHometown: Alpharetta, Georgia
School: University of Georgia
Major: Biology & Spanish with a minor in Global Health
How did you get involved in MEDLIFE?
I joined the UGA Chapter of MEDLIFE my freshman year of college after I heard the former chapter president shouting at an activities fair about, "an incredible opportunity to serve people living in low-income areas around the globe." MEDLIFE has so much to offer both locally and abroad, so I've been involved ever since! 
 
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm an upcoming senior at the University of Georgia. I'm a self-taught graphic designer, and I especially love creating art for t-shirts and posters. I'm really in to travel and Spanish, and I spent the summer of 2016 studying Spanish and interning at a pediatric hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I also love crochet, movies, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. 
 
Why did you decide to become an intern?
I've been really involved in my school's chapter, but I've only had the opportunity to attend one mobile clinic. I've always wanted to be able to help MEDLIFE National in another way, and since I served as the advertising chair for my chapter two years in a row, becoming the Communications intern was naturally the next step! 
 
What was your first impression of Lima?
Lima is much more metropolitan than Cusco, where I had the opportunity to go on a mobile clinic in January 2016. The city is massive. Everyone keeps telling me I can find anything I could ever want in the city, but I can barely find my way to the office in the mornings. I can't wait to see what all Lima has in store!
 
What are your goals for this internship?
I hope that I can bring a fresh take and a new voice to MEDLIFE National and the way they are represented on social media. Volunteers and local MEDLIFE chapters are so crucial to the way MEDLIFE works, and social media is one of the number one ways they keep up with what national has planned. I hope to be able to connect with chapters, volunteers, and anyone else who wants to know what it is that we here at MEDLIFE do. Also, I'm hoping my Spanish skills improve a little since I am majoring in it after all!

Aly Beeman: Volunteer Affairs Intern

alissaHometown: Boulder, Colorado
School: University of Tampa 
Major: I am majoring in public health with a concentration in health education and promotion! I will also have a minor in sociology 
How did you get involved in MEDLIFE? 
One of my professors encouraged me to get involved with MEDLIFE since she knew about my love for global health. MEDLIFE at the time was brand new so it was pretty easy to find was to get involve and help create the new chapter! I have since been on the Executive Board working as the Volunteer Coordinator. 
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Whenever I get a chance to hop on an airplane I'll travel some place new. So far I have traveled to 15 countries and I have studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa! I am planning on joining the Peace Corps after I get my masters in global health and epidemiology. You can usually find me laying around in my Eno hammock and drinking coffee! I am an avid skier but also like spending the day at the beach.
 
Why did you decide to become an intern?
I wanted to become a MEDLIFE Intern because it meant that I would be able to join and learn from a team of highly motivated individuals that have invested themselves in transforming health care systems around the world. MEDLIFE gives a platform to allow people to unite and invoke real change in the face of global health. I wanted to work with an organization that pushed me out of my comfort zone and let me see the world in a new way. I wanted to intern with MEDLIFE specifically because I believe it is all encompassing work. I set out to find an internship that stood by my favorite quote by Paul Farmer, "medicine can only treat the symptoms of poverty." Becoming an intern with MEDLIFE has given me the opportunity to call my passion "work."
 
What was your first impression of Lima?
My first impression of Lima is that it is a complex alluring city. Lima is very large and has anything and everything that you could want! It is vibrant and infectious with its energy. Lima is the kind of city that what you put into it, you will get out of it. I am excited to surf and take salsa classes this summer!
 
What are your goals for this internship?
With my internship in MEDLIFE, I hope to learn how to better fight for global health equity. I want to learn how to take what I have learned in school and actually apply it to real people and communities that need help. It is easy to point out problems in a health system but translating them to sustainable solutions is another thing entirely. Building bridges to easier and affordable health care is no easy task but I believe that MEDLIFE can give me the tools access that knowledge and make those relationships to do so!

Brandy Collum: Volunteer Affairs Intern

brandyHometown: Harvest, Alabama
School: The University of Alabama
Major: Marketing and Spanish
How did you get involved in MEDLIFE? 
My roommate, who is from Athens, Georgia, has several friends who are involved in the MEDLIFE chapter at UGA. One of her friends attended a summer mobile clinic and heard that his experience was incredible. As I was deciding what I wanted to do for the summer, she mentioned the possibility of MEDLIFE, so I looked into this option, and was captivated. I immediately applied for the internship because I realized I couldn't pass up the opportunity to genuinely serve workers, volunteers, and patients abroad.
 
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from Sweet Home Alabama, but I have some Mexican ties since my mother is from Guadalajara. I am currently an upcoming senior at The University of Alabama. I have a passion for people and traveling, but more specifically, I enjoying assisting others across the world in any way I can. I have been a part of a summer Christian camp known as Pine Cove where I traveled all through different cities in Texas for seven weeks which lead to organizing a camp in Panama for a week. I have also served abroad for a nonprofit called Filter of Hope in Dominican Republic. In addition, I enjoy hiking, biking, cooking, and drinking a lot of coffee.
 
Why did you decide to become an intern?
After doing research about MEDLIFE's mission and finding out information regarding the internship, I realized it could immensely benefit me as a college student who is trying to decide what career path best fits me. I had always considered working for a nonprofit, but I had never had any experience working in the office because I did not want to give away serving hands-on in the community. However, this internship entailed both aspects which was great! I had the opportunity to assist in mobile clinics, serve in the projects, and help in the office. I also appreciated that it was located in a Spanish speaking country I had never been before which was an opportunity for me to experience a new culture. 
 
What was your first impression of Lima?
It is a little crazy, and very very very different from my hometown which was overwhelming in the beginning. The buildings are wall-to-wall, traffic is endless and hectic, and Spanish is spoken all around, but it offers such a unique culture. I would describe Lima as vibrant and dynamic with delicious food.
 
What are your goals for this internship?
I hope through this internship I am able to gain more knowledge about MEDLIFE and what goes on behind the scene since I do not have a well established chapter at my own university. I also hope to serve the community well and provide for their basic needs and show them love and care they are desperate for. I hope to meet new people and obtain a wider perspective in life. Also, I hope this internship will help me decide if I will be interested in a career similar to this internship in the future. 

Grace Akin: Volunteer Affairs Intern

grace
Hometown: Maryville, IL
School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Major: Molecular & Cellular Biology
How did you get involved in MEDLIFE? 
I first heard about MEDLIFE from an advertisement for a general body meeting in my major’s newsletter. I was intrigued and decided to go to the first meeting. When I got there, I immediately noticed the passion and excitement the executive board members had for MEDLIFE’s mission & I decided to keep going to meetings. I learned more about global health and the root causes of poverty and then got to experience them firsthand during a mobile clinic in Riobamba, Ecuador. It was during that week that I fell in love with MEDLIFE and what they were doing for so many people. I joined my chapter’s executive board the following year and have been involved ever since. I am going to be our chapter’s president for the 2017-18 year and I am very excited to take what I learn here in Lima back to my own chapter!
 
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m going to be a senior at the University of Illinois this upcoming school year. I enjoy knitting and am currently working on my first pair of socks. Additionally, I like to run and am training to run the Chicago Marathon this October. I’m a fan of the outdoors, love to hike & am excited to explore the beautiful nature here in Lima!
 
Why did you decide to become an intern? 
I decided to become an intern because I wanted to get further my involvement with MEDLIFE and get to experience mobile clinic work all summer long rather than just one week. You learn so much during a mobile clinic week and I wanted to be able to have that learning experience for as long as possible. I also wanted to become an intern to see the reality behind what I’m learning in my global health classes and to grow both personally and professionally.
 
What was your first impression of Lima? 
Miraflores is beautiful! I was first in Lima during a mobile clinic trip in March 2016 and initially found the city to be lovely. I can’t wait to see all that Lima has in store!
 
What are your goals for this internship? 
My first goal is to learn some Spanish. It was a little intimidating to move to a country where I don’t speak the language but I am excited to be able to learn Spanish while I’m here! I also want to further my understanding and education about public health, Peru’s healthcare system, and the ways in which poverty manifests itself within a community. There’s always more to learn and I want to use my time here in Lima to take in and learn as much as possible so I can take it back to my own MEDLIFE chapter.

Julia Jashinski: Volunteer Affairs Intern

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PAjulia
School: The Ohio State University 
Major: I am majoring in public health with a sociology specialization. 
How did you get involved in MEDLIFE? 
I became involved with MEDLIFE during my freshman year as a member of the chapter at OSU. This past year I served as the Public Relations Coordinator on our executive board and attended a mobile clinic in Cusco, Peru during my winter break. 
 
Tell us a little about yourself. 
I'm a rising junior at THE Ohio State University. I really like to try new things, adventuring, and reading. I aspire to have the humor of Chandler from Friends, the whip is my go-to dance move, and I've been a vegetarian for almost a year because of a dare.
 
Why did you decide to become an intern?
I decided to accept the Volunteer Affairs internship with MEDLIFE because the mission of the organization is something that resonates strongly with me. MEDLIFE really takes on a comprehensive approach to health that aims to treat the root causes of illness as well as the symptoms in the areas that we work in. This organization has a genuine connection to the communities that we work in. I saw an opportunity to apply my skill, passion, and interest to an organization dedicated to sustainable health outcomes and decided to take it by joining the MEDLIFE team as a summer intern. 
 
What was your first impression of Lima? 
I was amazed with Lima from the second that I arrived. I have always been drawn to large cities and the fast paced lifestyle of urban areas. Lima has a bit of everything so I was immediately excited to be able to see all of it and call it home for the three months I'm here!
 
What are your goals for this internship?  
When I leave this internship I hope I can go with an improved knowledge of sustainable practices of non-governmental organizations. By learning more about how MEDLIFE creates working partnerships that benefit the community beyond the initial mobile clinic, I can apply this my future career. Additionally as a Volunteer Affairs intern, I hope to be able to connect with the volunteers on our mobile clinics in Lima and help them find their passion, whether it is global health or not, and how to apply that to their lives back at home. I'd also like improve my very minimal Spanish speaking ability. 

Keilly Pulgar: Volunteer Affairs Intern

keillyHometown: Tampa, Florida
School: University of Florida
Major: Nutritional Sciences & Italian Studies minor
How did you get involved in MEDLIFE?  
I first found out about MEDLIFE while I was a junior in high school. I have a sister that is two years older than me and one of her friends at the time did a MEDLIFE mobile clinic in Lima, Peru with the USF MEDLIFE chapter. I remember being super interested in doing something similar and told myself I would participate in a clinic once I was in college. UF MEDLIFE was the first organization I joined when I started my studies at the University of Florida. I immediately signed up for their winter trip to Tena, Ecuador and loved it so much that I also participated in a mobile clinic in Cusco, Peru that same school year.
 
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela and my family and I immigrated to the United States when I was just 4 years old. I have two wonderful, supportive parents, an older sister, and a twin brother. I've always been super close to my parents and my siblings, they're my best friends. I love to travel and try to immerse myself in different cultures as often as possible. I am currently a Pre-Med (or Pre-PA, still trying to figure it out) student and hope to one day practice medicine in underserved communities. I also want to serve some time in the Peace Corps, ideally after my college graduation. 
 
Why did you decide to become an intern?
I decided to become an intern because I wanted to experience what MEDLIFE was like outside of my chapter. I have a good friend who was a previous intern and she pretty much sold me on it from the beginning, she didn't even have to say much. I knew I was passionate about working with underserved populations but I also knew I didn't know much about how I could help or even how to start. I figured working as a MEDLIFE intern would be a great way to learn more about non-profit work and how successful and sustainable NGOs are run. When I found out I got the internship I was ecstatic! I knew I wanted come into this internship with an open mind and with a desire to learn anything and everything. I've only been here a few days and I already feel as if I've learned so much about MEDLIFE, Peru, and the people we help. I hope to take back my knowledge and apply it not only in my chapter but in other parts of my life as well. 
What was your first impression of Lima?
I tend to fall in love with pretty much every city I visit, so it wasn't super difficult to fall in love with Lima either. I spent my first weekend here exploring the Miraflores and Barranco districts with some of the other interns. There's so much to do and see here-- I've already started forming my Lima bucket list. 
At the same time, it is shocking to see how the line between the rich and the poor in this city and how it may go unnoticed to some people. Many would assume the more poverty-stricken areas would be far away from the more wealthy areas, but they are literally separated by a wall and only minutes away from each other. 
 
What are your goals for this internship?
My goal for this internship is to learn as much as possible. I want to learn about MEDLIFE's patients, the communities we help develop, and the people who work so hard to make it all happen. I want to work closely with people who have the same goal as me but may think differently, therefore challenging me to think critically about everything. Personally, I hope my time here helps me discover my strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between. Aside from all the good MEDLIFE does, I think this internship is an opportunity to help me grow in ways I would never think I needed to. Ultimately, I hope to make something out of my time as a MEDLIFE intern and plan to use my experience to expand my ideas and help others no matter where I am in the world. 

Neil Doshi: Volunteer Affairs Intern

neilHometown: Johns Creek, GA
School: University of Georgia
Major: Biology and Psychology
How did you get involved in MEDLIFE? 
Prior to starting my freshman year at UGA, I felt a little overly ambitious and started looking into organizations to join. I asked my sister for advice and she told me about MEDLIFE and her friend’s experiences with the organization. After hearing about the MEDLIFE’s work, I became extremely interested in joining the organization, and I showed up to their first meeting after being reminded of the organization through a poster at a library. I was immediately engrossed by their mission, take on global health, and their work’s impact global. So, I began actively participating in my chapter’s volunteer and fundraising events. My sophomore year I went on my first mobile clinic to Lima, Peru and now I am here, interning with MEDLIFE HQ!  
 
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Michigan and moved to Georgia when I was around 10 years old. I am heading into my junior year of college. I love watching NFL football, and I am a die-hard Atlanta Falcons fan! I also enjoy watching TV shows such as Suits, watching movies, photography, playing sports, and traveling around the world. 
 
Why did you decide to become an intern?
After coming back from my Lima mobile clinic during my winter break, I felt even more passionate about MEDLIFE’s mission involving global health care and combating poverty. Specifically, I truly believed in MEDLIFE’s methodology in creating sustainable programs and the congruency of the three MED (Medicine, Education, and Development) pillars. Thus, I was keen on getting even more involved and learning more about the organization. I felt that serving as an intern would provide me with the opportunity to develop a unique perspective on global health and allow me to serve underserved communities, which would serve me well in pursuing my future goals/ambitions. 
 
What was your first impression of Lima?
My first impression of Lima when I first visited the city on a mobile clinic was of how populous and developed it was in terms of traffic and buildings. I was also surprised how multi-cultured the city as it had a plethora of American fast food chains and also restaurants from places such as India and the Middle East. 
 
What are your goals for this internship?
One of my goals for the internship involves developing my communication/public speaking skills, leadership skills, and Spanish-speaking skills. I also hope to gain a better perspective on the various barriers and injustices faced by the people/communities that I will be working with, and also to have a meaningful impact on those groups. 

Sahand Eftekari: Volunteer Affairs Intern

sahanHometown: River Falls, WI   
School:  University of Wisconsin - Madison
Major: B.S. Biomedical Engineering
How did you get involved in MEDLIFE?
I'm a member of the MEDLIFE Wisconsin Chapter, and I was lucky enough to attend a volunteer trip in Lima, Peru.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I just finished my junior year at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and enjoy building things.  In my spare time, I enjoy reading and running.  I hope to someday attend medical school and pursue a career as a physician.
 
Why did you decide to become an intern?
I wanted to become more involved with MEDLIFE and help this non-profit provide aid to more people that desperately need it.
 
What was your first impression of Lima?
Lima is a very metropolitan environment with many different sites to see and things to do.  One step outside of this shell the city becomes very heterogeneous with impoverished areas and affluent communities bordering each other, just out of site of one another.
 
What are your goals for this internship?
I'd like to help MEDLIFE coordinate volunteer trips and have a better understanding of the inner mechanics of this non-profit organization.
 
IMG 6757Our 2017 Summer Interns spent their first week working in the field to help build a safer staircase in the Bella Vista Community.
Last modified on August 2, 2017 2:43 pm