As an occasional feature on the blog, we'll be highlighting Health for America alumni and the work they're doing in health, design, entrepreneurship, and leadership. This month, we've asked 2013 summer fellow Miki Lendenmann to look back on her experience and reflect on life after HFA.
Since my fellowship with Health for America in the summer of 2013, I completed my graduate coursework and started my Peace Corps service in Moldova in June 2014. As part of the Peace Corps Master’s International program, my MA degree and Peace Corps service are combined. I have served as a community and organizational development advisor in Taraclia, Moldova for 20 months and will complete my service this July.
I am also a MA candidate in International Development with a certificate in Global Health Affairs at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies and am expected to graduate this summer after I complete a significant research paper related to my service.
The HFA fellowship was a useful experience prior to my service because I continue to apply similar skills in various projects, including lean start up methodologies, design thinking, and collaboration on projects with local partners, youth, and/or other Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs). Here are a few of the highlights:
Facilitating several youth trainings on sustainable development, human rights, and project design & management with local counterparts and/or other PCVs.
Coaching youth in two different international competitions to build their skills. Last fall, I mentored two high school teams in business plan development, lean start up methodologies, and pitch delivery in the Diamond Challenge. Both teams will deliver their business pitch and compete in the capital, Chisinau, on February 6 as two of the top 12 semi-finalist teams.
Developing and managing several community projects and budgets with local partners using both Russian and English depending on the partner. Among these projects include a grant that installed a modern water pump in the town and a grant that will provide practical skills trainings for youth aspiring to work in journalism/media.
My greatest reward has been working with ambitious, eager youth and locals who want to improve their own lives and their communities. After I complete my service, I hope to continue to grow and work in a dynamic, team-based, mutually supportive professional environment.