Wednesday, December 15, 2010

AAHI Say's Goodbye to Fall Interns

Last week, AAHI bid a heartwarming farewell to fall interns, Kristina Yee, Shaiza Khalil and Karishma Dhru. They have successfully completed a semester-long internship at the Asian American Health Initiative. During their internship semester they worked side by side with AAHI on various projects, outreach events and other activities in support of AAHI's mission. They came to this internship bursting with enthusiasm and creative ideas.

At their farewell celebration, they presented their final projects- the GIS (Geographic Information System) Mapping project and the Photostory project. The interns demonstrated to AAHI staff how GIS mapping and PPGIS (Public Participation GIS) is useful in public health, not only for AAHI, but also for community and faith-based organizations. It was a very enlightening presentation, and the interns demonstrated high levels of knowledge in this difficult subject matter.

In addition to the GIS project, Shaiza, Karishma and Kristina worked on a photostory project this semester. This project is an extension of AAHI's soon to be released electronic publication, Voices among the Silent: Stories of Struggle and Strength from Asian Americans in Montgomery County, Maryland. The photostory is a visual depiction of one of the narratives in the publication; it is seen and heard through photographs and interviews. The interns planned, implemented and edited this project from start to finish.

All in all, we had a wonderful experience with the interns, we learned so much from them and we hope they gained invaluable experience working in a public health setting. As a farewell, Karishma, Kristina and Shaiza parted with words of advice for future AAHI interns:

Kristina Yee: "I've had such an invaluable experiencing interning with the Asian American Health Initiative. I've had the opportunity to both work side by side with passionate public health people, as well as work with very diverse communities. If I were to offer words of wisdom to future AAHI interns, it would be to keep an open mind, and really take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities you're offered. One of my favorite parts of interning, was learning from all the different speakers and people I got to meet along the way. The field of public health is so large, and in your experience you will meet tons of wonderful people... so don't be afraid to put yourself out there!"

Karishma Dhru: "Whatever task you are asked to do, do with integrity and genuine intentions of learning. Respecting your fellow peers is a trait that is valued and highly respected. Do your homework and network, network, network!"

Shaiza Khalil: "Take advantage of opportunity when it comes to you, seize the moment!"

Kristina, Karishma and Shaiza- we wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors!

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