High School: Miss Hall's School
Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Major: Sociology with a concentration in Global Medicine, following the PreMed track
Activities: Social & Cultural Co-Head of BACaSO (Bryn Mawr African and Caribbean Students Organization), Cultural Representative of SISTERHOOD (Bryn Mawr's African-American affinity group), Secretary for MAPS (Minority Association for PreHealth Students) and an active member of the PreHealth Club
Interests: Health disparities in East Africa, Global medicine, and travelling
Internship: African AIDS Initiative International, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
This summer I had the opportunity to go back to my hometown of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to work at the African AIDS Initiative International (AAII). AAII is a nongovernment organization (NGO), founded by Elleni Gebreamlak, dedicated to mitigating the spread of HIV/AIDS in a country where talking about the disease is taboo. Over the course of the summer, I went to various focus group discussions, participated in a peer mentor training program about practicing safe sex and worked in various other small projects towards the end of my time. One of my projects was to study the number of pregnancies and illegal abortions (which are high among university female students) that were related to HIV/AIDS and other STDs. My work meant that I had to contact and form partnerships with various other NGOs within Addis Ababa working around reproductive health and abortions. It was an experience that was challenging but in the end it was an experience that I am grateful for because I learnt so much about myself and the country where I plan to make a difference after I'm done with medical school.