A Passion to Lead: Part Two

This second entry in our series on "A Passion to Lead" broadens our focus to Co-Team Coordinators and other Team Leads, who work side-by-side as a part of the structure of their PIH Engage Teams. Team Coordinators and Team Leads all know firsthand what it means to work as a unit and contribute to a larger goal. Their reflections on working with PIH Engage are moving and unique and will hopefully encourage you to apply to become a Team Coordinator here!

Read about their experiences below!


Abhi Sharma - Co-Team Coordinator of PIH Engage Washington D.C. (District of Columbia)

"You can't find this kind of experience anywhere else because with PIH, you are working for something that is bigger than you or your group's interest."
- Abhi Sharma, Co-Team Coordinator, PIH Engage Washington D.C.


What are some of the greatest skills PIH Engage has given you?
“I would definitely say I learned a lot from having to mobilize people with very different schedules and different interests in the sense that some people are more interested in doing advocacy work, some have a greater skill-set in fundraising, and others in organizing the community. So, I learned about organizing a group of people with different skills and backgrounds for one cause, to really be in solidarity with PIH’s mission… It’s a merging of people with disparate skill-sets and interests even though the bigger picture is that we are all fighting for the same thing.”
What would you say to someone to encourage them to become a Team Coordinator? 
“I would tell that person that this is an experience that is truly one of a kind. You can’t find this kind of experience anywhere else because with PIH, you are working for something that is bigger than you or your group’s interest. You are working for something that affects the majority of people on this planet, which is lack of access to care. You are helping make a difference in the lives of an innumerable amount of people... It is an experience that is unparalleled in the sense that you have so many different avenues in which you can make a difference - you can fundraise, advocate, educate. All this is for the greater good. This experience teaches you a lot about inequities in the world, broadens your worldview, and it also allows you the ability to hone your skills in advocacy work and grassroots community organizing. I think this field is applicable to a vast array of different professional pursuits."
I am a PIH Engage Team Coordinator because...
“I saw a problem, and that problem was disparities in access to health care, and overall inequities. I saw the problem, and I resonated with PIH’s motto that health is a human right. By being a Team Coordinator, I felt like I could mobilize those around me to help stand in solidarity with PIH’s mission. I knew that I would be doing something phenomenal that could not really be quantified, because the difference I was making would be shown by those I would never meet.”


Megan Lynch - Advocacy Lead of PIH Engage at University of Delaware (Newark, DE)

"Looking back, I would have told myself to not worry about not being an expert about advocacy, policies, LTEs, PEPFAR, etc..., because now I know that the whole experience was a learning experience."

- Megan Lynch, Advocacy Lead, PIH Engage University of Delaware


How have you grown in your role as an Advocacy Lead?
"My year of being the Advocacy Lead of PIH Engage has expanded my knowledge of political decisions and implications of global health funding. Before this position, I did not know anything about the process of appropriations, what PEPFAR was, how to write letters to the editor, or how advocacy can influence the decision making process when it comes to global health. Through numerous webinars, discussions with PIH Community Organizers, and working with my advocacy team, we were able to get a true understanding of what it means to be a global health advocate, and how small actions can lead to huge change." 

If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself as you started out in this position?
"​Looking back, I would have told myself to not worry about not being an expert about advocacy, policies, LTEs, PEPFAR, etc..., because now I know that the whole experience was a learning experience. My chapter, advocacy team, and myself, all used this as our chance to learn about what it means to advocate for global health, and we were never expected to know everything." 

​How has your experience working with PIH Engage influenced your future goals?
"​As a future Public Health Master’s student, this experience was extremely beneficial. Health policy and global health are core components of public health, and although I am not pursuing these fields, I was able to use this experience to enhance my resume and interviews. The fact that I was the leader in promoting global health and writing letters to the editor about PEPFAR was very beneficial as an MPH applicant. PIH was a main point in my personal statement, and so far I have been accepted into 4 out of the 5 schools I applied to. Now I can go into grad school and have a solid background on global health and health policy, and be confident that I am pursuing a career that I am passionate about."


Peter Mattson - Co-Team Coordinator of PIH Engage Boston (Boston, MA)

"The right to health movement cannot wait any longer."

- Peter Mattson, Co-Team Coordinator, PIH Engage Boston

mattson_3.jpg​What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from your experience with PIH Engage?
​"The thing I have learned is that we can have all this passion, however much passion we want, but we must also have this organized structure. I think that has really helped us accomplish our mission, and I think it is something a lot of other groups don't necessarily have. PIH has been around long enough to know that you need certain people to do certain things. It's been really fun to watch our sub-group leads take ownership over projects; Advocacy Leads to take lead on congressional visits and LTEs, Fundraising Leads to take lead on Strides [for Solidarity], Community Building Leads to take lead on growing our group, etc... In order to channel our passion into results, it's really necessary to have this branching leadership structure."

​How has your work with PIH Engage influenced your future goals?
"I would say that I've been interested in global health for a good amount of time, and PIH has played a huge role in that... Knowing PIH existed gave me hope that results could be achieved in this sphere. In that regard, this work gives me the motivation to go out and pursue goals in this arena. My experience with PIH Engage, in particular, looking back on it, really showed me that we're not working alone but that we're working in teams... PIH Engage shows me that there are team leads and team members interested in this movement and that it's also possible to motivate our friends, family, even strangers to care about this movement. There are these communities out there who can rally about global health, and that hope is really important in being able to sustain the movement."

​What would you say to someone to encourage them to become a TC?
"I'd say that the benefits of not having just a leadership experience but also an experience that is really meaningful, where you know the work you're doing is going to help people and patients that you never even met - it's really powerful... [W]hen you look back on it all, you won't think about the hard work, you'll think about the results. You'll think about all the friends you made, all of the people that you've met along the way, the people you've impacted, and it'll be totally worth it."

I am a PIH Engage Team Coordinator because...
"the right to health movement cannot wait any longer."

Applications for New Team Coordinators are STILL OPEN!

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