NOTE: Originally, I had a blog on the platform Jux, but Jux is no longer available, so I will be posting some of my thoughts from that blog. I saved most of my work on my laptop, and I wanted to make it known. Summer 2014 I traveled to Quito, Ecuador as a Susan McAshan Service Learning Intern through the PJHC program at Rice University.

So a bit of background: Susan Clayton McAshan, for whom this scholarship was named after, was a founder of the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, philanthropist and arts patron who supported various causes (family planning, diversity in the arts, etc.). The internship itself provides students from Rice University completing a minor in Poverty, Justice, and Human Capabilities the opportunity to serve communities throughout the USA and around the world. This also completes the service-learning credit component of the minor which emphasizes a human capabilities approach (considering what people are able to do and be), and therefore I applied and have been given the wonderful opportunity to take part in service. The internship requires weekly reflections, assignments, and reading throughout the internship. In the fall, there is a 1-credit course that allows the interns to present their work. The next step was to find an internship that followed all the guidelines set up by the internship (i.e. 35-40 hours of work, must be direct service). So I looked into CFHI and found a program that fit perfectly with my interests: Sexual Health as a Human Right: Ecuador’s Unique Model.

“Participants will learn about educational and outreach strategies used to educate and offer health services to populations of all backgrounds regarding sexual and reproductive health and gender. This program will allow participants to gain a distinctive first-hand understanding of sexual and reproductive health issues in Ecuador and the challenges of working in these areas in a socially conservative, predominantly Catholic country.”

Even as a socially conservative and predominantly Catholic country, Ecuador is one of the few Latin American countries to guarantee sexual and reproductive health rights (written in the constitution). I applied, was accepted, and I can’t wait to find out more.

As for the Lead 150 Class, I had to attend the 2-day Leading Edge Workshop at Rice that prepares students to become better leaders outside of Rice and make an impact in their internships. In addition, Leadership Rice provides a 1-credit course, Lead 150, that occurs during the internships.

“Using your summer internship as a practicum, you will complete readings, assignments, and discussions to enhance your abilities to influence, add value, and build relationships. You will use your internship as a laboratory to practice leadership skills, apply concepts, and observe effective and ineffective leadership.”

So these are all the wonderful opportunities that I am looking forward to and preparing for right now


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