Breathe California would like to welcome Rebecca Grant, our new Research and Evaluation Intern. Rebecca is currently working toward her Master’s in Public Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health with a focus on child, youth and family health. Before entering into her MPH program, she lived and worked in San Francisco for three years at a child health clinic in Bayview Hunters Point that serves children and families impacted by chronic adversity and toxic stress. We hope you enjoy learning more about her in this Q&A Session.
What about Breathe California as an organization or the nature of the internship inspired you to apply?
I found Breathe California while researching for a paper I was writing about the impacts of asthma in the Bay Area. I was drawn to the grassroots approach to asthma education, tobacco cessation and policy work. I saw the Research and Evaluation Internship with Breathe California as an amazing opportunity to test my program evaluation skills while learning from and working with a dedicated and knowledgeable staff on these important issues.
What responsibilities have you taken on at Breathe California and what projects are you working on?
As the Research and Evaluation Intern, I am responsible for organizing and analyzing all of the program data from the All About Asthma (AAA) Program and using this data to evaluate the success of the program. I am also preparing to present Professional Development Workshops to Breathe California’s staff on Leadership and on The Health Impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences.
What have you found to be the most challenging, rewarding or fun about the work you’re doing at Breathe?
Though I am still early in my internship, I have found that the biggest challenge has been thinking through the best way to analyze the AAA data so that we are not just showing outcomes, but highlighting all of the successes and challenges. The most rewarding and fun part of this internship is getting to know the team and learn more about their work.
How do you feel that your internship at Breathe California will help you grow professionally or further your academic or career goals
This internship is a great test of my grad school education, and the evaluation skills I am learning here at Breathe are invaluable to my future career in public health and nonprofit work.
How has your knowledge about lung health issues increased since your internship started?
I have only been at Breathe California for three weeks, but in that time I have learned so much about asthma and the respiratory system, as well as the health implications of flavored tobacco and targeted advertising to youth by big tobacco. In my short time here, I already have learned invaluable information that is relevant to my friends and family.
Overall, what would you say that you will be taking away from your experience with us?
I will take away from this experience a deeper understanding of the importance of a community level approach to solving important issues like lung cancer. I will also leave here with more confidence in my ability to work with and evaluate program data.
If you could share one thing with others about the value of Breathe California’s work, what would it be?
Breathe California’s dedication to empowering the community through grassroots education is essential in the fight against lung disease and to advance policy that supports clean air and promotes public health. The work that is being done here is so important for the health of children and families everywhere, especially in the context of today.