Rosie is a 2017 Tikkun Alum Award recipient for her work in research at Boston Children’s Hospital, as a leader at Boston University with the Alternative Service Breaks program, at BU Hillel, and the non-profit organization “She’s the First” while pursuing a master’s degree in public health from Boston University.
“You’re standing at the banks of a river, and there are people floating past you. A doctor saves their lives one at a time, bravely and quickly pulling them out of the water. A public health practitioner steps away from the bank and heads upstream to see what is causing them to fall in and creates large-scale solutions to keep people safe. As I think about my future in Public Health, this metaphor is what inspires me. I think that this drive to ask big questions, stay active in the world around me, and live a life dedicated to serving others stems from my days at The Rashi School.
“During my time at Boston University, I have continued to be encouraged to think big. I have been involved in Hillel and the Community Service Center, I’ve held multiple part-time jobs at Boston Medical Center and Children’s Hospital, and I have been lucky enough to foster some of the most inspiring and life-altering relationships. I’ve learned to balance while also learning to enjoy living freely. And looking back on my days at Rashi participating in Tamchui, I’ve learned to put my “chips” where I believe I can have the most impact for the greater good.
“My Boston University social justice journey stems back to my Freshman year when I chose to spend my spring break volunteering down south in Natchez Mississippi at the Natchez Children’s Home. While there, I witnessed overt racism, stifling income and housing inequality, and health disparities that spanned from obesity to cancer to mental health. Perhaps more important than what I saw, were the conversations I had while I was there about race, inequality, childhood adversity and more. I was enthralled by the systems that citizens interact with, and the ways in which environmental factors influence health and well being.
“With this in mind, I began to explore how I could work within and outside systems to improve outcomes. I landed on Public Health because it combined my interests in health and community service. I applied during my Sophomore year to be part of the accelerated bachelors/masters in public health program allowing me to start taking courses at the graduate level at the start of my Junior Year. I have since been inspired by professors who continue to push me – like my Rashi teachers once did – to think outside the box, with creativity, and with both heart and mind in tandem.
“I continued to participate in Alternative Service Breaks for all four years of college traveling next to Memphis and then Asheville, and finally to Harper’s Ferry. For me, there has always been something special about this level of uncomfortableness you experience when you enter a new community – I think it fosters growth and humility. This year I served as upper leadership to maintain the database for over 300 volunteers and I ran the scholarship program. On our upper leadership team of seven students, I watched how different passions, voices, and skills could be combined to create something absolutely incredible. My inert ability to appreciate each person for who they are and what they stand for stems back to my days at Rashi where compassion and empathy served as every day guiding values.
“I am so excited to be heading to Nicaragua this summer to complete my practicum. I will be working with an organization called AMOS Health and Hope that works to train and provide resources for Nicaraguan health leaders within rural and often poor communities. As one of their Global Health interns, I will be evaluating one of their Zika programs and be implementing changes as needed.
“I’m beyond grateful to my Rashi teachers who continue to influence my drive and passions every day, and who once gave me the confidence to speak on a stage, partake in the scientific method, or try to speak a new language. Finally, I am especially grateful to my wonderful parents who keep me grounded and always smiling, and who have truly shown me what it means to live a life dedicated to serving others.”