EPIC Summer Intern 2014: Exploring Cultural Barriers

Jessica in Chinchero, Peru.
Jessica in Chinchero, Peru.

My name is Jessica Throwe and I am extremely excited to be a part of the 2014 EPIC summer intern team, where I will have the opportunity to explore my passion for working with international non-profits. I will be attending the University of Maryland in the fall with the intended major of Community and Behavioral Health in the school of Public Health and a minor in International Development and Conflict Management. I am studying in the College Park Scholars program in Public Leadership, which focuses on working closely with local NGO’s located around the metropolitan area and raising awareness about various social issues.

My interest in international work began with my experience working with the service organization of Walking Tree in Chinchero, Peru. During my time there, I stayed in a small mountainous village where my service group aided in the construction of an elementary school for the nearby community. The students lacked the proper establishment necessary to shelter them from the changing weather and allow them to focus on their academics. With the help of two local carpenters and a group of 16 American students, a building was constructed for the students in the span of just two weeks. I was inspired by the unique culture that surrounded me and the impact that such a small group of students was able to have on a large community that I knew I wanted to continue with international service in the field of global health. I have also spent much of my time volunteering with large international organizations such as the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity, traveling with small groups to numerous build sites around the Chesapeake area.

During my time at the University of Maryland, I plan to study abroad in South East Asia and gain more experience internationally while continuing my studies in public health and leadership. After I graduate, I hope to begin my work with international organizations as soon as possible, utilizing the skills gained from my time here at EPIC in order to make a positive impact in the community.

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