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Maya Wiener Berkowitz

School: 
Hampshire College
Hometown: 
Minneapolis, MN
Academic Concentration: 
Public Health/ Philosophy of Medicine with a focus in Reproductive Healthcare

Internship Highlights: Maya developed and taught a reproductive justice curriculum for young women from the Pueblo; designed a public health participatory research project, and developed a policy for the organization on how to responsibly engage community members in research studies.

Biography: Maya is a rising senior at Hampshire College. She has been involved in CLPP since her second year at Hampshire and is excited to be continuing her work with them. She is excited to go to the Southwest for the summer and explore a new part of the country. Her long-term goals include a senior thesis in Abortion access during states of emergency, medical school and a career in reproductive health care and advocacy. She is looking forward to learning this summer from a community in which she has not been involved with before and looking at reproductive justice from a new perspective.

Ask Maya

Why did you apply?
I am involved with CLPP during the school year and have known many people who have gone through the program. RRASC was an amazing opportunity to do what I love and work in the field I am studying while also being able to support myself.

What was the best or most exciting part of your internship?
The most exciting part of my internship was how completely unknown everything was. Walking into this internship, I had no concept of the location, the culture or the operating procedures of the organization. Learning how to be engaged in the organization kept me on my toes. Learning about the people and the community kept me excited and active in my work. The best part of my internship was the mutual exchange of both learning and teaching that happened every day, both in the office and in the community.

What is your advice for future interns?
The most important thing to do is to be open minded and flexible. You will never know what you are walking into so keep your wits about you, be willing to bend as far as you need to and make sure you are ready to take some serious initiative. You also need to have a passion for learning outside of the classroom and in the field. The most rewarding aspects of this job are the things you will never be able to account for and would never expect.

How do you plan to bring what you learned and experienced this summer back to campus?
I will bring my work back with me through my thesis work, which is a community-based participatory research project looking at the possible environmental impacts on women's reproductive health on Tewa pueblos in Northern New Mexico. I will be working with the community and organization from this summer to make the surveying successful and I will be in charge of data analysis and synthesis, ultimately ending in the first study about environmental impacts on reproductive health conducted in this community.