LEARNING CLOSE TO HOME AND FAR AFIELD

Sorensen Fellow Ariella Assouline ’17

Sorensen Fellow Ariella Assouline ’17 (fourth from right) participating in a Feminist Majority Foundation rally.

Sorensen Fellows journey to their home countries and to new places

August 7, 2015

The 18th cohort of Sorensen FellowsAriella Assouline ’17, Bethlehem Seifu Belaineh ’16, Tove Freeman ’16, Shaoleen Khaled ’16, Anni Long ’16, Wilkins Lugo ’17, Regina Roberg ’17 and Bezaye T. Teshome ’16 – journeyed back to their home countries or to new places for their summer internships. Their experiences so far have been both intense and thought provoking.

Read on for more about their internships, and some thoughts from the Sorensen Fellows, reporting back “from the field:”

Ariella Assouline ’17, from Miami, Florida. She is interning at the Feminist Majority Foundation in Los Angeles, California, working on leadership building for local college feminist organizations.

“Feminist activism is a whole body process. Your mind is constantly working to make everything as inclusive as possible, to consider all angles, to make sure every word is perfect. At the end of every day, I’m exhausted but invigorated for the next. I am constantly reminded of how relevant and vital this work is and how actual lives are being bettered by it. There is no other field where I would feel as fulfilled.”

Bethlehem Seifu Belaineh ’16, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is starting EthioSTEM, a mentorship and leadership program for young Ethiopian girls that matches them with university mentors in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and other professionals in Addis Ababa.

Tove Freeman ’16, from Oakham, Massachusetts. As a person of color who identifies as both Norwegian and African American, Freeman has always been interested in better understanding health disparities in minority communities, especially in Norway and United States. Her passion for research and improving health outcomes led her to her summer internship at the National Center for Minority Health Research in Oslo, Norway. During her internship Tove is assisting with cultural competency training for clinicians in Norway.

Shaoleen Khaled ’16, from New York City, is interning with the Center for Young Women’s Health in Boston, Massachusetts.

“I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to intern for the Center for Young Women's Health. This experience not only reinforces independent learning but also strengthens my writing and leadership skills. I love the flexibility in creating my own projects and ideas to advance the mission of the organization, such as staffing a table with a photo booth and “Wheel of Fortune”-type game for UV safety awareness month. I am looking forward to conducting training sessions with residents at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital. This includes putting my theater/drama skills into practice by acting out a mock appointment and simulation of teen health scenarios with the residents, and providing them with feedback afterwards, so they can understand how to effectively talk to teens about their health.”

Anni Long ’16, from Shanghai, China, is interning with Media Monitor for Women Network, a Beijing-based Chinese feminist organization that promotes gender equality in the media.

Wilkins Lugo ’17, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, is interning with the Housatonic Valley Association in Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut, focused on their efforts to improve water quality in the Still River Watershed, education and outreach, and more.

"I did not expect all of what I am gaining working here at the Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) Inc. I am working on a strategic outreach effort for the potentially under-served in the Still River Watershed, which spans seven municipalities. I did not expect my environment interest to compound as it did. I was always fascinated by the natural world and interested in outdoor activities, but I did not expect to encounter the outdoor activities that seem native in the area - hiking the Appalachian Trail, bike tours, and fishing to list a few. I thought my main take away from this summer would be enacting social justice, not a skyrocketed interest in the environment and a more suitable self for accomplishing my future goals."

Regina Roberg '17, from Chicago, Illinois, traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina to intern at a local health center's psychiatric wing through the nonprofit organization Voluntario Global.

“There have been so many moments here where I feel so full of gratitude: grateful for the people who have opened their communities to me, grateful for their trust I had to work very hard for, grateful for my support system back home, and grateful even for the challenges that served me powerfully as learning opportunities about myself or my surroundings. I cannot wait to apply what I have learned here on an academic, social, professional, and personal level. I feel that every day spent here further catalyzes my thirst for not only future global and cultural exploration, but also academic inquiry as a way to understand collective and individual narratives of human nature.”

Bezaye T. Teshome ’16 is also from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She returned to Ethiopia to work with Ethiopian children with special needs, particularly those with autism spectrum disorder, by interning with the Nia Foundation. She is participating in speech therapy and social skills trainings, taking part in workshops designed to equip parents with techniques to enhance their children’s communication and social interaction abilities, and working with professionals in special needs education to plan activities for the children at the Nia Care Center.

Read more about the Sorensen Fellowship, including details of how to apply.