The Friday That Changed My Life

970 Words4 Pages
The Monday that Changed My Life That Monday I found my dream! It was an unforgettable day during my internship when I realized that Public Health was not just my interest, but my calling. Before that Monday, I had some vague idea of a career in health promotion. Then I met Lal, a Bhutanese refugee who had spent almost 20 years in the refugee camps of Nepal. That Monday, the vague idea blossomed into a firm desire to advocate for vulnerable populations such as refugees, displaced persons, victims of human trafficking, and more. Individuals such as Lal should not get lost in the chaos of conflict, or stymied by systemic barriers everywhere, including their place of safety. When I sat down with Lal in my cubicle in the darkest corner of the office, little did I know that I was about to begin one of the most emotionally intense and empowering conversations of my career. Lal was my first refugee client at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a humanitarian aid organization that resettles refugees in the U.S., where I had started my internship in Public Health. My role as a Public Health Intern was to support and assist refugees in navigating the intricacies of healthcare and other social services as they walked their road to self-sufficiency and assimilation into a new culture. It was Monday, and the Health Team had walk-in hours for individuals who needed assistance. I introduced myself to Lal with my biggest smile and greeting in Nepali: "Namaste." As nervous as

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