The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

2015 First-Year Fellow: Vivian Jiang '18

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My mentor and employer, Gabriela Garcia '01, is the director of the Center for Perinatal Advocacy whose primary purpose is to improve maternal and infant health in the District of Columbia. Significant disparities exist among certain communities regarding infant mortality rates and birth outcomes, and the Center aims to eliminate these disparities. By managing various best practice programs that seek to reduce preterm births and SIDS deaths, advocate breastfeeding among mothers, and car seat safety for infants, the Center promotes the strategies that will effectively combat the health issues facing mothers and their infants in the District’s most vulnerable, disadvantaged communities. 
The most rewarding part of the fellowship experience for me would be when my mentor entrusted me and my fellow intern with taking charge of the Center while she was on leave for a period of time. While she was gone, we organized and processed a considerable amount of data from the Center's primary program, which was to be sent to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. I not only felt a sense of honor for how our mentor believed us responsible enough to manage the Center’s programs in her absence, but I also found an enriching experience in the chance to be independent without having a figure of authority to constantly rely upon. 
During this period of time, I also conducted my first safe sleep training session for an expecting mother. While I was nervous about not being able to remember the correct information or having the message come across in an unintended way, I knew that I could not always rely on someone being there that I could turn to whenever I had questions. Thus, I found this period of independence and responsibility during my fellowship experience to be particularly rewarding.
-Written by Vivian Jiang '18
This series introduces the 2015 First-Year Fellows. Each fellow reflects on his or her experience in Washington DC as a First-Year Fellow working with a mentor in public policy. 

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