I am excited to announce that I was recently accepted into the University of Utah nursing program for Spring 2017, which will serve as a crucial part of my path to becoming a nurse midwife. However, the long hours of clinical work and tough classes will mean I will be leaving Women of the World come January. This is a terribly bittersweet experience for me. While I am excited to begin a new step towards achieving my dreams, I am going to miss all of the wonderful families I have come to know through WoW.
Before coming to Women of the World, I considered myself reasonably knowledgeable in current world affairs. I provided many refugees with healthcare in my time at Planned Parenthood, and assisted undocumented women in childbirth through the volunteer doula program at the University of Utah. However, nothing has shown me the reality of our world more than being able to develop a personal relationship with our clients at Women of the World. Their path to thriving in the United States is so much more nuanced and precarious than I could have imagined. I arrived at Women of the World during a tumultuous time in our nation. The effects of the refugee crisis were being felt in a very tangible way here in the Salt Lake valley. However, I have never seen a more determined group of people try to mitigate these effects. Samira and our caseworkers would stay late into the evenings making sure that no client was ever in danger of losing their health, their families, or their homes. There is no team more dedicated than the one I was able to be a part of at Women of the World. I got to witness these women for a brief period of their lives as they try to make their dreams come to fruition in the United States. I got to share in their struggles and celebrate their successes right alongside them and our fantastic staff.
It has meant so much to me to see a community rally around the needs of our most vulnerable population. The experiences I have had with Women of the World will shape who I am as a healthcare provider. There are so many areas of medicine that can serve refugee communities, and I wish to continue this spirit of service throughout my professional career.
I want to thank Samira, our caseworkers, and the Board of Directors for giving me such a wonderful opportunity. It is with great confidence in the work of Women of the World that I leave. I hope I was able to give back even a fraction of what has been given to me through this position. I will carry these women’s stories with me wherever I go.