Max Byron.

Planned Parenthood of New England - Portland, ME

Project Description

Preston Public Interest Career Fund Recipient

One of the most important issues right now in American politics is the fight for reproductive justice, and ensuring that all people have the education and autonomy to make decisions governing their bodies. It’s an uphill battle, with a sizeable chunk of Congress pushing for laws against access to contraception and inadequate sex education. I admire Planned Parenthood for their commitment to promote quality healthcare in all steps from education and research to policy and patient services, all while being challenged by many government officials.

Coming from rural Maine, I didn’t know where my passions lied and what I wanted to do in college. I joined The Sex Project in my first semester of my first year with the intent of learning more about sex from a variety of angles. I was not expecting to be so engaged by the group, and by the time it was my turn to teach other students, I had already been giving informal talks in my dorm to my floormates. I knew I wanted to be a part of the leadership team, and this year I joined as the curriculum coordinator. I have had an integral role in outreach, and I have ensured we have had timely meetings to further improve our work. I did all the research for our presentations for the “sexperts” in training last semester, including generating new lessons that had not been used before. I led a discussion in the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity on what defines queer sex along with the Bowdoin Queer-Straight Alliance. In addition, this semester I have orchestrated protest poster events and driven students on campus to Planned Parenthood rallies in Portland. I believe my interest and comfort with these subjects, as well as my desire to improve views on all parts of sexual wellbeing, would make me an integral part of the public affairs team this summer, and a funded internship grant could make this happen.

Communication is an important component of this internship, with responsibilities including phone banking, business outreach, and door-to-door canvassing. I have a variety of experiences that have contributed to my comfort and ability to speak effectively to people. I have been an actor for a considerable portion of my life. In college, I expanded my repertoire by taking acting classes that have focused on vocal technique both on and off the stage. I have also volunteered for two years in an emergency room where I helped the nurses and patients however I could. Working in an environment where I am constantly talking to new people will help me in my future of acting and healthcare.

Furthermore, this internship would be a great first step in my career goal of being an OB/GYN or endocrinologist and public health advocate. I plan to study abroad in Buenos Aires next semester in a public health program, with a focus on reproductive justice. I want to do a dual MD-MPH program as a post-grad, and eventually becoming a doctor in a disadvantaged community that advocates for patient protection. Planned Parenthood fits directly with the type of work I would like to do, working towards a better sexual wellbeing in a personal as well as social context.

Project Details

  • Date October 18, 2017
  • Tags 2017, Healthcare, Preston, Sophomore, USA

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