Meet the Officers: Chloe Becker
Name: Chloe Becker
School: George Washington University, Milken Institute of Public Health
Major(s): Public Health, Minor in Psychology (Pre-Med Track)
Class year: Sophomore
When and how did you get involved with YSI?
One of my best friends from home, Emily Adelsberger, runs the University of Massachusetts Chapter of YSI. She told me that the executive director of the organization, Kevin Lombardi, was at GW Medical School and looking for an undergraduate student to start a GW Chapter. Since Emily loved the organization so much, she inspired me to go on a trip to Haiti with YSI and encouraged me to reach out to Kevin about a GW Chapter, and I’ve been involved with and passionate about YSI ever since.
Which expeditions have you gone on?
I went on the first session of the Summer 2017 Expeditions, and I was recently on the first two sessions of the Winter 2017-2018 Expeditions.
What have your roles been on the expeditions that you’ve gone on?
On my first trip I was an advocate, and I acted as a group leader for the second half of the expedition. On my second trip this past winter, I was assistant to the expedition director for sessions 1 and 2.
What is your current position? Can you describe your main responsibilities?
I’m the chapter president/leader of the GW branch and I’m also a fellow of YSI.
As chapter president at GW, I’m responsible for recruiting, training, and preparing advocates for their upcoming expeditions. With the help of my amazing executive board, I work to meet application quotas, strengthen our university’s chapter, lead the executive board, and address any advocate questions or concerns.
For my role as a Fellow, I work with Kevin to help develop programming and to give an undergraduate perspective of the program development as a whole. I also work with Niamh, the program development associate, to give feedback on training modules, since I’ve recently been in the field in Haiti and directly train advocates. Working with Kevin and Niamh in these ways, they’ve been able to help me with my own professional development as well. Also, when I’m in Haiti as a Fellow, I’m able to learn about other positions and what they entail, so I can take on those roles in the future.
What is your favorite memory from your trip(s) to Haiti?
I always really like talking with and learning from the interpreters, community health workers, translators, and house staff and trying my best to communicate with them in Creole.
It’s incredible to help the people that we serve and to have such impactful patient contact, but it was also great this past winter to help my peers. I love getting to train advocates in the field and it’s really amazing to watch people learn how to do health assessments and develop that skill so quickly and so well. Also, leading reflections and watching people’s viewpoints change and develop to have a broader and more informed perspective on the world is really cool.
Also, I watched Tilelen give birth to puppies!
Why did you choose to become more involved with YSI? (What makes us so special to you?)
The organization’s ability to take criticism and then adjust to the changing needs of both the population that we serve and the advocates that we work with is not something you find with a lot of groups. The fact that my voice is heard is really important to me, and I find that in YSI.
I also think that YSI is a special organization because when we are in Haiti, it has such a sustainable design, uses evidence-based practice, and emphasizes quality over quantity.
Also, the people are amazing to work with. I’ve acquired some amazing mentorships and opportunities from being with YSI for only a year.
What is your biggest takeaway from the experiences that you have had with YSI?
I think that I’ve gotten a lot of clarity from my experiences in Haiti and with YSI. I’ve realized that you can get really caught up in something that’s unimportant and not necessary to be upset or worried about, but that you’ll be a lot happier if you let it go. I’ve always had this perspective, but now I understand more how to direct my energy to align with this feeling.
I’ve also learned that health is something that a lot of people take for granted, and that other service organizations can do good work, but there’s always a way to be better. Listening to the population is the biggest step a group can take in the right direction.