In this story, Sam discusses her passion for women's health through her own life experiences. Sam's college experience has allowed her to surround herself with groups of people who lift up and support one another.
Sam: I would consider myself the typical College student. I am currently pursuing a degree in public health with a focus on women's health. Based on my personal and family experiences, I have become a really strong advocate for women's health, and my mom was a big influence in that she raised me to always kind of put yourself forward and never take no for an answer. And my friends have also instilled that, and they've been an inspiration in my life. My mom was a big factor in influencing my decision to go into public health and women's health specifically.
Sam: She has a reproductive condition called endometriosis, which I inherited from her. And she kind of always made sure that health comes first as physical and mental health before you do anything else, because if you can't be your best self, then you're not going to be of service or helping others. Joining a sorority in College, I found a really solid group of friends where women support one another. That's kind of like the core of our friendship is we're going to push each other to do our best and be our best selves. I specifically have probably four or five made friends where we all just like, go big or go home in our friendship.
Sam: And that's been really inspiring and public health because I want to do good for them and support them as women as well, because I had only been in a class of maybe 15 my whole life. So my freshman year classes were 300 lectures, and I was very nervous that I would kind of get lost and fall behind in my academics, which are very important to me. But my mom reminded me to be an advocate for myself and use the voice that I have. I was able to push through and make it a home, really. In high school, I did a club called ModelUN, where it was like a mock trial debate team.
Sam: And one of the projects that we did was really influential in my decision to go to public health. Also, we were talking about sanitation and refugees in developing countries. So when I got to College and I realized that I could do that for a major, I was like, oh, let's do this. This is so interesting and tied into women's health. I mean, I have a voice. I wanted to be able to use it for those who are afraid to or are able to. And that's really where I am now. That's what got me here.