Why did you enroll in this course?
I enrolled in Global Social Impact Fellowship program because I found more reasons to enroll than not to enroll. To elaborate, I found three specific reasons. The first is the simplest, The Safe Motherhood Project offers me the opportunity to gain experience in my major, marketing. Secondly, before I came to Lehigh I took a gap year during which I worked for an educational non-profit called City Year. City Year’s purpose is to fight the crisis of high school dropouts taking place in the United States. To do so, City Year trains motivated young adults to become peer mentors in cities where the high school dropout rate is over 50 percent. As peer mentors, these young adults work with students on their academic and emotional intelligence in order to prevent students from dropping out. During my time working for City Year, I worked in Tulsa, Oklahoma where I taught math to approximately 60 students. Every single one of my students taught me a significant lesson. When I left City Year, I left as a wiser person with an ambition to not just learn more about what is happening in the world today, but to act upon the knowledge. The last reason is perhaps the most determining one. My family is from Mexico and I can honestly say that every woman in my family has a tragic story about motherhood and their reproductive health. Their stories vary from miscarriages to getting an illness from a blood transfusion during labor. Therefore, The Safe Motherhood Project’s mission to promote reproductive health and rights in a developing country is a topic that is close to my heart.
How do you envision this course making you a better student?
I envision Global Social Impact Fellowship course making me a better student in a way that will push me out of my comfort zone. It will force me to ask the difficult questions, the ones that I fear voicing because I might not like the answer. It will make me reflect on my goals and on what I actually am, or am not, contributing to this world. At the end of this course, I know that, just like my experience at City Year, I will walk away a much wiser person. Additionally, as a marketing major, this course is a great opportunity to get hands on experience. The Safe Motherhood Project is centered around a documentary and the biggest part of a film is making sure that people watch it. Getting as many people as possible to watch the film is all about the marketing.
What solution do you propose to address the vision care crisis?
Taking into consideration my personal skills and the resources I currently have available, in order to address the shortage of accessibility to eyeglasses in the world, I would take a social campaign approach to the issue. There already exists many nonprofits and companies who have made eradicating the shortage of accessibility to eyeglasses in the world their mission. For example, Warby Parker who gives a pair of eyeglasses to someone in need for every pair sold or the nonprofit OneSight which is dedicated to providing eye exams and glasses to those who do not have access to vision care. So, instead of adding another nonprofit or company into the mix, I feel that the best approach is to connect the existing nonprofits and companies to each other and to inform the public about the crisis of vision care and how to help stop it; the best way I can think to do that would be a social campaign. Today, the most effective way to bring attention to any cause is through social media. In fact, the average person spends approximately two hours and thirty minutes on social media everyday. Social media is no longer just a tool to socialize. It is now a platform where people get their news from and where social movements, like the #Metoo movement, are born. I would make a short film, and distribute it on all the major social media platform; Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, etc… Additionally, I would create a website that would have a directory to the proper nonprofit/companies, a form to donate, and a way to filter volunteers. As the campaign grows on social media, people who do not have social media will learn about it through word of mouth. The increase of awareness on the crisis will raise donations, then with those funds organizations can expand into new areas where the crisis is at its highest.