Aisha Abedi

Public Health
Volunteer Coordinator
Washington Oral Health Foundation

Following graduation I was an intern at the International Rescue Committee. I chose to do this because I knew that a lot of refugees come from my country of birth (Democratic Republic of Congo) so I figured I would be able to speak French to them and help their transition. I quickly found out that although they were born in Congo, most of them had lived in refugee camps in Rwanda for almost half their lives so they only spoke Kinyarwanda. The language barrier was hard at first, but I think the bond we shared really brought us together. I was also able to speak some French to the older refugees who grew up in Congo. It was the most life-changing experience and inspired my decision to continue on to graduate school. I ended up applying to masters of public health programs with a health behavior/health promotion concentration. I also applied and accepted a position as a Volunteer Coordinator for the Washington Oral Health Foundation in Seattle, WA! In the future, I plan to return to the Congo to promote public health and research while continuing to utilize my French skills.