Career goal: Attend medical school and specialize in infectious diseases in developing countries.
Internship outline: Alexandra worked on the Story of a Girl Project, an international HIV advocacy campaign by Visual Epidemiology. After preparation in New Haven, she traveled to India for six weeks to establish partnerships with NGOs and film personal stories of women and girls living with HIV. Participating women were of varying backgrounds, including sex workers, orphans, expectant mothers and the poor. The Project seeks to establish a human connection by showing footage about their families, hobbies and their passions and demonstrating positive outcomes by showing what women are capable of with access to proper medication and services. In addition to collecting personal stories, the Project also creates short narrative films following the life of a girl born HIV positive until the birth of her own HIV negative child.
Value of experience: The Story of a Girl Project really put me in touch with the people behind the numbers discussed in classes and on a broader policy level. Women invited me into their homes to show and talk about how far they had come since learning their HIV status and accessing treatment, demonstrating the importance of each individual. I also learned how to navigate the often-difficult politics of NGO partnerships.
Best moment/experience: I had the chance to interview young girls (12 to 15 years old) about their hobbies and their dreams. Many were resisting family pressure to get married and were determined to finish their education and become economically self-sufficient. They wanted to share their inspiring stories to empower other girls around the world to assert themselves. I have never met a stronger group of young women.