I am pursuing a Master of Social Work (MSW) in the Administration and Policy Practice (APP) concentration. My background is in International Development & Social Change (BA/MA) and I have worked on advocacy and health and well-being programs with refugee and marginalized communities in ten countries. My professional goals are to promote policy development and programs that ensure the well-being of marginalized groups in the U.S. and Canada, specifically Indigenous communities and refugees. The Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship will allow me to advance my French, which is critical for engaging in national initiatives in Canada, and to improve my knowledge of effective ways to co-create social policies and programs with Indigenous groups in both countries.
Alongside my FLAS Fellowship, I will complete my MSW practicum at Seven Directions, the first national public health institute in the U.S. to focus exclusively on enhancing Indigenous health and wellness. This training will prepare me to better understand and center Indigenous ontology, epistemology, and models of well-being. Having lived and worked in several different cultural contexts, ranging from Botswana to India and the Middle East, I have learned the importance of programs being grounded in community knowledge, history and wisdom. My hope upon finishing my degree is to pursue roles in nonprofit or government sectors (U.S. or Canada) where I will collaborate on research that informs local and federal agencies about the priorities, needs, and effectiveness of programs supporting Indigenous communities. Advanced knowledge of French will provide me with an ability to work at the national level in Canada and, given Canada’s official bilingualism, be important at the local and provincial government levels as well.