On the first day, Mr. Jason Griffiths ('97), Head Master, showed me around the school and gave me an extensive run-through of The Brooklyn Latin School's history; I learned about the school's policies all the way from admission, hiring and fundraising to curriculum planning and college matriculation. Jason also holds a wealth of knowledge about graduate programs and rising issues in the world of education, so we engaged in lots of conversation about the before and after of his work, as well. Needless to say, I learned a lot even in those first few hours.
Walking through the halls, one can't help but notice the inspirational and thought-provoking Latin quotations that line the hallways, each a symbol and reminder of the School's classical curriculum. Jason is also the school's founder and has modeled the School's curriculum after the model of Boston Latin, offering Latin to all students and intent on building its student's skills in the liberal arts from public speaking to structured writing and analytical thinking. While taking a tour of the building, everything from those quotations to the teachers' nameplates prefaced with Magister/Magistra (Latin for male or female teacher) serves as a quirky reminder of that mission.
That morning, I sat in on a conference call with the School's board of trustees as they discussed plans for the year's fundraising efforts. The School's faculty and trustees are all young professionals filled with vibrancy and a passion for education and the future of the School. Founded in 2006, the School is still in the process of planning its next moves and expanding its vision every day, which made it a wonderfully exciting place to visit. By the time I visited the classrooms, I was fully able to see how all of the meticulous planning that Jason and his colleagues have put into creating the school has come together to create such a wonderful learning environment for the students.
I spent most of the second day exploring classrooms and I was particularly impressed by the variety of teaching styles practiced throughout the school and how they all focused around The Brooklyn Latin School's central values. I sat in on multiple grade levels and subjects and instantly recognized common themes and continuity throughout disciplines and levels.
The faculty and administration put a lot of effort into making sure that the curriculum is cohesive and that every student is able to walk away from classes with skills that are applicable to a host of disciplines. The students truly appreciate and acknowledge the effort that goes into planning such a structured and specific education experience and I enjoyed talking to them about their experiences.
On a particularly exciting note, the School had recently received a grant allowing it to create two new computer labs and I happened to visit during the time that they were planning and mapping the details for the new spaces. Still a new institution, the school had renovated its library just the year before and Jason is constantly thinking of ways to enhance the school's facilities.
On the last day, I sat in on a faculty meeting for the Art History Department and listened and contributed to their conversation about how to restructure the curriculum while mapping the balance of skills and content taught throughout the course. That attention to balance is a large part of what I believe truly makes The Brooklyn Latin School special. Along with their staple traditions like declamation competitions to practice public speaking and Socratic seminars to practice seminar-style participation, ensuring that every student has a voice and is well-equipped to articulate their ideas in a classroom.
No question was off-limits and I felt completely comfortable around Jason and the faculty. I had plenty of questions and the faculty and staff took an interest in hearing my observations and were open to discussing the "why" of nearly every aspect of their method.
It was inspiring to see a school so young that has such a clear plan for its own and its student's futures. The faculty and especially the founding administrators have obviously worked tirelessly to make sure that their vision is carried out with precision and grace and the atmosphere for students, faculty and visitors is beautifully pleasant because of it. I was fascinated by the wonderful progress and enthusiastic cooperation that comes from a new institution without the impediment of long-standing administrative politics. Everyone admits that the New York City public school system isn't without it's flaws, but it was wonderful to get a first-hand look at the efforts that the faculty gladly put into their work everyday to further the school's mission. All of that hard work clearly paid off, too: during my visit, four students had gotten into their top-choice colleges and I watched them proudly put up pennants for their college destinations on the wall outside of the college office.
I would certainly recommend this Princeternship to interested students. My time at The Brooklyn Latin School certainly affirmed my interest in exploring teaching and administration and I'm extremely grateful to Jason for the opportunity to learn more about both the classroom and broader policy aspects of school administration.
Monday, January 24th, 2011
Preparation for my Princeternship really began last night when I climbed in bed at 9 p.m. In order to beat the morning rush into the Texas Medical Center, I was out the door by 5:30. It was overcast and rainy, but that certainly didn't drop the number of patients visiting the hospitals. Despite the dreary weather, Dr. Debra Palazzi ('92), was energetic and eager to begin her morning rounds at the Texas Children's Hospital. We headed straight to a conference room to receive the weekend report from the attending who had been on call. There, we learned about all the patients we would be visiting throughout the day. Their ages ranged anywhere from two months to 18 years old and their lengths of stay spanned from a few days to three weeks.
Dr. Palazzi introduced me to her current team: Jill, a second year resident, Angela, a nurse practitioner in cardiology, Kemi, an intern, and Rebecca, a fellow. They were kind enough to introduce me to their patients throughout the day. The amount of enthusiasm and dedication that they showed to each patient was amazing--I almost wondered if Dr. Palazzi had told them to act super excited, but she joked, "I wish I had met with my team before rounds to tell them to act normal!" We saw a premature infant with meningitis and polydactyly, patients with ulcers, cystic fibrosis, toxic shock syndrome, and numerous infectious diseases.
Their work seemed very much like detective work--fellows, interns and residents viewed new consults and then presented them to the rest of the team. Together, they hashed out the details of the case, reviewing a patient's medical and social history. Based on the patients symptoms, different tests would be run to check for the presence of different bacteria. Combining their own assessment of the patient with lab results allowed the team to collaboratively reach a decision for the next steps. What drug regimen would the patients be on? Was a hospital stay necessary? If so, for how long? All of these questions were answered and discussed with the patients and their parents.
The saddest case for me was a young girl with leukemia and Listeria, a gram-positive bacteria that can contaminate food, causing a potentially lethal infection. She was noticeably upset and complained about being bored in the hospital, wanting to leave as soon as possible. I was really impressed to see how Dr. Palazzi interacted with the patient and all the other children. She always ended the discussion by asking if the parents, and more importantly, if the patient had any questions. As long as the patient was old enough to talk, Dr. Palazzi made a pointed effort to see if they had any questions or concerns. (See photo on right: one of the kids let me take a picture of all the flowers, cookies, and balloons that had piled up in her room during her stay. Thankfully, she was looking better with each day, and she'll probably need a truck to bring all these gifts home).
Besides a lunch meeting from 1:00 - 2:30, we were shuttled up and down different floors within the hospital and bustling in and out of patient rooms, learning about new consults, and reviewing lab results. It was a hectic day, but everything was fresh and exciting. I left the hospital feeling charged for day two!
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
I began the day by visiting some patients with Rebecca before meeting with Dr. Palazzi and the rest of the team. As I could already tell from day one, each patient was a unique case which ensured that the doctors were never bored. Since several of the patients had been in the hospital for an extended period of time, I got to see many familiar faces as we continued rounds. It was great to be able to follow up on patients. The young girl I met the day before, in particular, seemed to be in a much better mood: "Can't you guys skip all the other kids and just stay with me?"
In between seeing the patients, we went down to the labs for "micro-rounds" where we learned about the science behind potential infectious diseases. We got to see Gram stains and actual bacterial colonies from patients we had seen earlier. It was interesting to see where all the tests were being completed. There was a lot of discussion about Chediak Higashi syndrome, a rare inherited disease of the immune system, that Rebecca was convinced one of the patients might have. We left the land of microscopes, soft-agar, and petri dishes to see some human faces.
The last case of the day was particularly heart-wrenching; a little girl who had three teams working on her: infectious diseases, orthopedics, and cardiovascular surgery. All three teams wanted what was best for the patient to occur and as a result, there was a lot of serious discussion. Day two concluded with just as much excitement as day one. At night, Alex Landon '12 and I made cards to give to all the kids the next day.
Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
Today was my last day, and I got a ride from Dr. Palazzi into the medical center. On the way, she talked to me about her experience at Princeton, medical school, and residency. Far from the horror stories that most people talk about when it comes to medical school, Dr. Palazzi was enthusiastic and reassuring. It was really helpful hearing her perspective. When we got to the hospital, we kicked off the morning with cupcakes and muffins since it was nearing the end of the rotation, and Dr. Palazzi would be meeting with a new team soon. We checked up on Ashley early in the morning to see how she was doing post-surgery.
Around noon, the residents and I headed to the Citywide Meeting on Infectious Diseases in which representatives from different hospitals presented their most interesting cases from the previous week. It seemed to be a great forum for different doctors to discuss alternative treatments and for medical students to see collaboration amongst hospitals in practice. Following the meeting, Dr. Palazzi and I made social visits to hand out cards to the patients. Several of them were really excited, and it felt great adding some color to their rooms--not that the Texas Children's Hospital isn't colorful enough (all the walls contain artwork done by children and the elevators are color coded).
After reviewing some new consults and checking on new patients, we wrapped up the day by saying goodbye to the team. Dr. Palazzi was kind enough to drive me home again. We talked about everything from her visit to Taipei (my hometown) after freshman year at Princeton, the Nude Olympics at Princeton, to her life outside of medicine--she used to be an international competitor representing the USA for taekwando! Over the last three days, I have learned so much from Dr. Palazzi and her team. Seeing the dedication they have shown to each patient has given me an example of the type of doctor I hope to be someday. I am so appreciative of the time and patience they showed me in answering all my questions or simply sharing their advice. I hope that I'll get to visit Dr. Palazzi again sometime soon!
I had to wake up early in order to be at the Brooklyn Latin School at 8:30, the time that I had agreed upon the day before with the Head Master and Princeton alum, Mr. Jason Griffiths ('97). Getting to Princeton station at 6:15am allowed for ample time in case I got lost in the city, which surprisingly did not happen as I looked up the straightforward subway schedules and routes beforehand.
Once at The Brooklyn Latin School I was greeted by David Easton, the de facto Vice Principal, who gave me a tour of the school before I would meet Mr. Griffiths. Along the tour he told me all about how the school was started (for instance, its roots coming from its brother school, the Boston Latin School, such that students from this branch go there every year for inspiration). Further, he discussed with me the school's curriculum and its reasons for having the controversial International Baccalaureate, and the ways in which the school reinforces the name of Latin by way of declamations and Socratic seminars to strengthen public speaking abilities.
After the tour I had the opportunity to watch in on classes and observe teachers use their own tactics to get the students to pay attention, behave, and generally learn in class. Throughout the teaching Mr. Easton was providing me with a running commentary of what exactly the students were doing at the point in the course and how the teacher likes to teach. The whole experience illuminated what goes on in the teacher's mind during a lesson as opposed to the student's, a useful thing to learn about given my interest in teaching.
Finally, I was given a brief period to discuss with the principal a few technical questions as well as more specific details on certain decisions that he made and why he made them. Further still, I got the opportunity to learn of his motivations for becoming an educator, an invaluable thing to have.
Today I visited Cosmederm Bioscience and Evofem, Inc., two companies that share the same office in La Jolla, CA. I arrived at the office around ten in the morning and was greeted by Ms. Quimby, the Vice President of Product Development at Cosmederm. She introduced me to the other employees, who were quite friendly. Although Mr. Sean Edwards ('92), the President/CEO of Cosmederm, was out of town, I was still able to learn more about both companies and their products. Cosmederm Bioscience is a "cosmeceutical" company that has pioneered specialized and patented anti-irritant skin products created by Dr. Hahn, founder of Cosmederm Technologies. Evofem, Inc. has developed SoftcupTM and AmphoraTM, two products designed to promote women's health. After the introductions, I attended an operations meeting around 10:30. During the conference, Mr. Guthrie, the Chief Operations Officer of Evofem, and the other employees discussed modified specifications of the SoftcupTM product as well as marketing updates both in the United States and abroad. Once the meeting was over, Mr. Guthrie and Mr. Pike, the Executive Vice President of Evofem Inc., explained their roles in the company and prospective plans for product development and marketing.
The highlight of my day was the two hours I spent talking to Dr. Hahn. A Stanford alum and a graduate from the UCSD medical school, Dr. Hahn discussed his interest in immunology, specifically nerve receptors in the skin called nociceptors, and the development of his products, which contain the element strontium. He then described the process of obtaining a patent and even took the time to go through the patent application he filed for the topical use of strontium for skin irritation. Not only did he answer any questions I had, but he also engaged my interest in his field of research. I am glad that I was able to meet him - his intellectual curiosity has inspired me to pursue science and his extensive knowledge of patents gave me a better idea as to what my future career in intellectual property law will entail. In addition, I was able to take one of his published papers and a copy of his patent application, a total of thirty pages!
I enjoyed this Princeternship overall, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in marketing or intellectual property!
Monday, January 3, 2011 (at BRB Architects)
9:30 am - Arrived at BRB Architects to meet with Partner Mr. Robert Vuyosevich ('76,*79 ). During this time Bobby told Vivian and I about the history of the firm and his educatinal/work experience too. We also talked about Princeton - dormitories, courses, famous professors, exams, etc.
10:30 am - Met w/ Mark Maljanian, Design Director/Associate Partner, to review two projects: Trinity School Chapel and Molloy College Student Center.
Mark is really involved in designing the projects. He has a minimalist style, which I really liked. He had just finished a project at Trinity School, where he re-did their chapel. He showed us the development of the design, from hand sketches to computer graphics and finally to the real thing.
11:00 am - Attended weekly partner/associate partner meeting. This meeting involved the social aspects of the firm, whether they should have more meetings or lunches with junior architects, and how they wanted to bridge the relationship gap between them.
12:30 pm - Lunch and studio tour with Junior Architect, Osamu Osawa, to discuss transition from academic to professional environment and to learn about typical workday. We went to a bistro right next to the office building and grabbed some lunch, then we talked and ate in the café area in the office with other junior architects. Osamu is the youngest employee - he just graduated from VTech. I discussed with many the difference between school and real work, different degrees/education plans, whether or not graduate school was worth it, and just in general what it was like working at BRB.
2:30 pm - Met w/ Partner Bob Vuyosevich for review of Qualifications package for job at Williams College. Here we learned about how to make a sales pitch, because architect firms have to compete against other firms to win projects/clients. Bobby showed us how they managed public relations (sending postcards, publishing a book to send to clients), and also showed us a Qualifications package and how they laid out their firm profile and 'sold' themselves.
3:30 pm - Met w/ Project Architect, Yuan Diao, to review construction drawings of Molloy College Student Center and Dorm. We learned about an ongoing project - Molloy College - and Yuan showed us all the construction documentation, which are basically HUGE books with large sheets of paper that had details of every single room, pipe, and air vent drawn. There was a lot of text and a lot of codes. We also talked with Richard, who is the main overseer of the Molloy College project. We talked about the difference between engineers and architects, and how they worked with each other.
5:00 pm - Met w/ web-site designer (with partners/associate partners in attendance) to see new web-site. This was a very interesting experience. I learned that architects are very focused on design, and perfecting designs. The partners spent a lot of time asking the website designers about the aesthetic details. Through my observations I found that there are fundamental differences between engineers and architects regarding the level of emphasis on aesthetics. I think I may be the former and so I found myself wondering if architecture is really right for me.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011 (Various sites in and around NYC)
8:00-11:00 am - Bob Vuyosevich accompanied us as we met Project Architect, Richard Snyder, on the site of a new student center at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY.
This was a very cool experience. Both physically and mentally. It was freezing, but we walked around the construction site at Molloy College, where Bobby talked about structures, and what the engineers were doing. We also learned that sometimes projects cannot go the way architects want them to be. For example, there is one wall where all the doors to a room are slightly aligned incorrectly, because of a worker's misreading. We learned that this could cost the company a lot of money and time, but mistakes always happen some way or the other. I really liked the experience, and I definitely think I want to work with architects and building structures, but I probably want to do the engineering side of the work.
11:00am-1:00pm - - Returned to NYC and Lunch
On the car trips and during lunch, Bobby told us a lot about working dynamics. He had a lot of anecdotes about people who dropped out of architecture, handling unhappy clients, and working with difficult personalities. We also talked quite a lot about Princeton. He was in the Nassoons, which is pretty cool!
1:00 pm - Visited Trinity School Chapel, Upper West Side, NYC. After lunch we visited Trinity School and looked at the chapel that Mark designed. It was even more beautiful than the photographs! We saw how some things just can't go the way as planned. For example, there had to be a RED fire smoke detector that clashed with the color scheme of the room. Also, some lights could not be fixated in the desired places and had to end up elsewhere. The ventilation system of the room was very clever - it was covered by a bed of rocks. Also, the skylight and the secret doors were very impressive.
2:00-5:00 pm - Visited The AIA Center for Architecture to view current exhibitions.
Finally, Bobby dropped us off at the AIA Center for Architecture, but before he did that we took a quick tour around NYC to see the "cool" buildings today. There was one by Frank Gehry, which was amazing. We also passed by the Chelsea Piers where BRB has done some work. At the AIA Center, Vivian and I walked around the museum, enjoyed the exhibits, and then headed back to Princeton.
I definitely enjoyed this experience! It has taught me that I am an engineer rather than an architect, but also that I want to work with buildings in my future. I think that it has helped me choose my major at Princeton, and I will be doing the Civil Engineering/Architecture program!
When I arrived at 10 am Wednesday morning at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, I was met by the alumnus sponsor of the Princeternship, Ms. Susan Zilber ('76). She was friendly and disarming, and greeted me and my fellow Princetern, Teguru Tembo, with a schedule of the events for the day. The day began with a meeting with Elizabeth Nunez, the manager of Human Resources, who gave us an overview of the structure of PPFA and its relationship with the 85 affiliate organizations and approximately 850 clinics nationwide.
After receiving a brief overview and access badges, we were off to speak with Destiny Lopez about her work as Director of Latino Engagement. Although 25% of the population served by Planned Parenthood is Latino (which is similar to the demographics of the United States), there is strikingly limited involvement of Latinos in community organizing or advocacy for PP. Thus, there is a discrepancy in representation of the served population in advocacy numbers and PPFA is trying to change that.
Next, we met with Elizabeth Talmont and Montsine Nshom who were a part of the Consortion of Abortion Providers Services. Planned Parenthood may be synonymous with abortion services to many people, we found out that abortion services are actually only 3% of Planned Parenthood's services. Additionally, there is not access to abortion services across all affiliates, so PPFA has set long-range requirements for the services that each affiliate must offer (not every clinic within an affiliate though).
After a nice lunch break with Susan, we learned about the evaluation and accreditation process for affiliates nationwide with Deborah McHugh followed by an introduction to Development operations with Beth Friedmann. Development work entails the coordination of donors and donations. The current big project is a streamlining of PP funding with the Collaborative Fundraising Initiative, which will create a pooled fund for donations to both the federation and affiliates and will cut down on paperwork and duplication.
The last meeting of the day was with Jeanne Ewy, the Managing Director of PPFA-International, a sub-division of PPFA, not to be confused with International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). PPFA-International currently works mainly in Latin America and Africa and provides support and expertise to help develop family planning services abroad with the goal of building system capacity so that the support can be removed eventually.
After a packed day in the office, I headed home with plenty of reading material for the train back. Perhaps the most surprising fact of the day may have been that less than 80% of employees of PPFA were female (all employees polled believed the number to be higher)!
Today I went to the office of Cosmederm Bioscience in San Diego, CA in order to shadow the company's CEO Mr. Sean Edwards ('92). Although I had never seen the office before, I was very familiar with the area - having attended high school a mere five minutes away. As soon as I arrived in the office, I was greeted by Mr. Edwards and introduced to the staff. The office space was very impressive, complete with its own laboratory for research. In addition to Cosmederm, also working out of the office is a company called Evofem, for whom Mr. Edwards is the senior legal advisor. Cosmederm is a specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on the development of cosmeceutical over-the-counter and prescription topical dermatological products. Evofem is a biotech and consumer products company specializing in women's health.
After touring the office, Mr. Edwards and I sat in his office and discussed his professional background and the two companies he oversees. Mr. Edwards was not only knowledgeable about the business, financial, and legal aspects of the company but the technical as well; he was able to explain to me in detail how the products of both companies worked, complete with samples and models in his office. I was impressed by the depth of Mr. Edwards' knowledge of the products and their distinct marketing potential, which is indicative of his increased responsibilities as the CEO of a smaller firm. I was especially interested in Mr. Edwards' explanation of how decisions in marketing and operational strategy are shared among the executives in both companies.
Mr. Edwards and I also discussed his recent trip to London to meet with members of Evofem's Board of Directors. The purpose of the trip was to finalize the proposed plan for Evofem's purchase of Cosmederm Bioscience as a wholly owned subsidiary. Although both companies are owned by the same two individuals, Mr. Edwards explained the difference in investment prospects and immediate revenue potential between the two companies that prompted the plan for a synergistic acquisition. After our conversation, I listened in on a conference call between Mr. Edwards, Mr. Wendell Guthrie (the COO of Evofem), and Mr. Joseph Pike (the majority owner of both companies). Mr. Pike was still in London, and he described an additional meeting he had in Europe regarding Evofem's growth. Also briefly discussed was the need for plans to be drawn up regarding the executive positions in the new Evofem, Inc. - which as the umbrella corporation for the two merging companies would now include the management and board members of both firms.
Mr. Edwards then gave me a couple of materials to look over at a work station, which included a PowerPoint presentation concerning the Evofem/Cosmederm acquisition, a PowerPoint presentation outlining the new marketing campaign for Evofem's Softcup, and an endorsement contract between Evofem and Olympic-level swimmer Amanda Beard drawn up by Mr. Edwards. Nevertheless, I did not have much time to review the material as I was busy throughout the whole day! I next sat down with Dr. Gary Hahn - the Chief Scientific Officer of Cosmederm and the company's original founder. Dr. Hahn discussed his extensive experience in pharmaceutical research and product development. Despite having a strictly scientific academic background, Dr. Hahn was very knowledgeable in the challenges of small business entrepreneurship due to his firsthand experiences. Likewise, Dr. Hahn and I discussed matters of innovation, patenting/licensing, and intellectual property - both as they applied to Cosmederm and the pharmaceutical industry in general.
After my discussion with Dr. Hahn, Mr. Edwards and I walked to lunch at TGI Fridays. In addition to talking about his work, we also chatted about Princeton and his legal career prior to his joining Cosmederm and career as a business executive. Especially noteworthy was the apparent versatility of a law degree, as it can lead to so many different career paths - evidenced by that of Mr. Edwards. Not only were his experiences instructive, but Mr. Edwards took a personal interest in my own academic and career aspirations and offered his advice. On a personal level, we had a lot to discuss as fellow San Diego natives and Princeton athletes. As President of the Princeton Club of San Diego, Mr. Edwards has stayed very connected to the university and its community.
When we arrived back at the office, I listened in on a meeting between Mr. Edwards, Mr. Guthrie, and Daniel Pike - Executive Vice President of Evofem. The meeting concerned the international trademarks that Evofem wanted to file or extend on two of its products, the Softcup and the Amphora gel. It was very interesting to see the strategy inherent in the decisions, especially in terms of where Mr. Edwards and the others viewed the growth of the company and when the appropriate time to secure trademarks would be. Further, there was the issue of translation; for example, questions arose concerning China, from whether or not to patent the English names as well as the Chinese characters to whether or not a term like "Softcup" would even translate the meaning of the title correctly.
After the meeting, I stayed with Mr. Guthrie and Mr. Daniel Pike, discussing the history and the growth of Evofem. In talking with Daniel, I came to better understand the challenges involved in marketing and distributing a product, especially regarding the complex relationships with manufactures and the medical professionals who act as distributers; indeed, simply creating a perfect product is not enough to ensure the product's success on the market. I also learned a lot about the challenges of expanding a business overseas - from finding reliable partners to dealing with foreign governments' standards, especially in the health care business with the standards for products varying so much among nations.
By that time the day was nearly over, after flying by. Mr. Edwards likened my experience to "drinking from a fire hydrant" - and I think this is an extremely apt description. Diving right in and trying to learn all I could was a fantastic experience, and it was only made possible by everyone in the office being so generous with their time. After saying my goodbyes, I left Cosmederm a little bit more knowledgeable in the vast areas of business management, intellectual property, marketing, and cosmeceuticals, and a lot more excited about all of them.
When I applied for the Planned Parenthood Princeternship I was a bit nervous. I walked into their New York City headquarters with only a spotty idea of what it might be like to work in the nonprofit world. However, I learned so much in my two days tenure that I feel I left with a much more complete view of work outside the corporate sector. I am grateful to my Princeternship host, Ms. Susan Zilber ('76) for this opportunity.
Everything from the introductory video that Elizabeth Nunez, the Internship coordinator, showed us, to the meeting with Jeanne Ewy, a member of the International Department, to the casual lunch conversation with some new employees, was not only informative but also entertaining.
I applied for this Princeternship because, while I've always wanted to work outside the country and in a health-related field, I had only recently developed an interest in working in the nonprofit world. Planned Parenthood's focus on resolving global health issues specifically made it seem like the perfect place for me to wet my feet to work outside the corporate sector.
During my visit, I learned about how Planned Parenthood utilizes a corporate structure that emphasizes accountability--specifically through its accreditation board-- with a nonprofit delivery of services to achieve a type of synergetic success that neither strategy could achieve by itself. I also found my meeting with Destiny Lopez, the Director of Latino Engagement, very helpful. She spoke about how Planned Parenthood takes into account how sensibilities change from culture to culture when engaging with clients. One example I remember is that Tupperware parties are used to create a space where Latinas can talk openly about sexuality and sexual health.
I am also appreciative about the transparency and frankness with which the members of Planned Parenthood spoke to me. They told us about all the negative consequences that result from the opposition that Planned Parenthood faces. It never occurred to me to think that all the money Planned Parenthood spends defending itself should be viewed as opportunity cost. Every dollar spent fighting the slander and libel it is subjected to is a dollar taken from an HIV-infected girl in Ethiopia or a struggling teen mother in Mississippi.
I was also disappointed to learn about the negative effects that an adverse political climate has on Planned Parenthood's international mission. During a teleconference with Chloe Cooney from their DC office, Emily and I learned how foreign countries' health care systems end up being affected by American politics.