2014 Alumni

Dan Derman

2014 Sowing Seeds for Change Fellow
Carolina Family Health Center
Laxmi talked with Dan in June 2015:

What have you been up to since SAF?
I moved to Boston, MA. It’s my first time living in a big city. I enjoy the hustle and bustle, there’s always something to do. I'm on a soccer team and get to visit with my family often. I work at The Institute for Community Health, a department of Cambridge Health Alliance. We do public health research and evaluation work with nonprofits and departments of public health, data collection and analysis for initiatives. Right now I’m working with urban populations on a teen pregnancy initiative and a drug program. I’ve done focus groups with community members and I create data visualization to tell the story of what programs have been doing. It’s been a steep learning curve, intellectually challenging and rewarding.

What is your best memory of your SAF internship/program?
My best memory of my SAF fellowship was eating dinner with farmworkers during the theater group visits. Not talking about heavy issues, but having casual time with them to connect on a personal level was nice and refreshing.

How did SAF impact what you’ve done since?
The SAF Fellowship was my first exposure to public health. I had only done a research project my senior year with health clinics in Boone. The fellowship experience 100% lead me to get my current position. I had two hour-long interviews, and there was probably only 10 minutes that I wasn’t talking about SAF! The program opened my eyes to pubic health as a possible career for me which had never crossed my mind before.
 

Miranda Schartz

2014 Sowing Seeds for Change Fellow
Pender County Health Department
Joanna talked to Miranda in June 2015:

What have you been up to since SAF?
Just kind of hanging on. Pender County extended my contract [from my fellowship last fall] and just recently offered me a full time contracted position. I’ll be here for sure a year at least. When I was working as a fellow I did a lot of transportation and interpretation for people at medical appointments, data entry. I made some health education booklets and brochures, a dental brochure, kids coloring book, and an activity book with health education. I'm still doing health education and outreach and now I'm also doing more community liaison work. So when a community partner wants to know about our work I’ll go and talk to them or do a presentation. Now I know the ins and outs of the program better.

What is your best memory of your SAF internship/program?

My best SAF-related memory was orientation week when we did the life share where everyone tells their background.  I think that was a great opportunity to set the stage for friendships we’ve maintained since then, to get to know people.
From my placement my best memory is the first time I actually had someone tell me about issues they had in the field- not getting breaks to drink water or go to the restroom or take a break from the heat. It made things more relevant and real.

How did SAF impact what you’ve done since?
It’s made me learn about farm work. It's difficult to put into words. When I’m doing the work at my job it’s one-on-one, case by case work where you don’t connect to the overarching issue. When I go back to SAF [volunteering with selection, recruitment and committees] it reminds me there’s a big systematic issue with farm work. Each individual person I see that doesn’t have access to medical care, there’s a reason for that. SAF gives me the big picture, brings me back to the bigger reality. I’ve wanted to go to medical school for the longest time so those plans have changed a little bit but I’ve since realized I can do other things. Since my sophomore year of college I knew I wanted to be involved with SAF and it was my top priority for after my senior year. Since doing the fellowship I think I’ll stay involved and connected to this work the rest of my life even if I’m not working directly in the field. That’s why I like working with SAF because I can always be connected. I’m in it for the long haul.