Justin is a first year Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology major at UCLA. It is his first year in GlobeMed at UCLA, and he is on the Campaigns team. Keep reading for Justin’s fresh perspective on what makes GlobeMed so special, as well as an update on what we have accomplished this quarter!
I still remember very vividly the day I finally said goodbye to my parents during move-in week. I remember how overjoyed I was to finally take on new responsibilities independently–I also can recall how terrified I was to finally be on my own. With over 1,000 clubs and student organizations on campus, I was overwhelmed by where I would exactly fit in. The smell of ambition and perpetual involvement was everywhere. As a confused and directionless freshman, I was attracted to various club sports, nonprofit organizations, fraternities, and acapella groups. And then I found GlobeMed. There is something truly unique about this group of individuals that made GlobeMed different from the other campus groups.
GlobeMed partners with the MPoma AIDS/HIV Initiative in South Central Uganda to improve water access and sanitation abroad and ensure healthy living worldwide. But we are not a group that simply fundraises and sends money to needy countries, leaving the work to be dealt by themselves. We actively send interns from our very own school to work on what is called the Grassroots On-Site Work Projects to work with the beneficiaries, mutually grow and learn from each other, build intimate relationships, and maintain close contact with our recipients.
Back at home, we have recently wrapped up our “Sprinkles Cupcakes Fundraiser” and “Ugly Christmas Sweater Sale” with huge successes. It truly was a pleasure getting to work with people who are so committed to a humanitarian cause. Each week, we also meet to bond as a team with fun games where we bust out Iggy Azalea/Drake raps or untangle ourselves from a human knot formed with our arms. We also discuss issues of inequality in our society through ghU, not only in terms of health but also in the context of race, socioeconomic matters, and so much more. A few weeks ago we participated in the “Privilege Walk” in which each member would take a step forward for every advantage called out that they have and a step backward for every disadvantage. Afterwards, we discussed the discrepancies in where we stood. I think the ghU committee especially plays a very important role in our group because we are able to talk about matter that often make us uncomfortable, seek comfort from those who share similar problems, and develop feelings of advocacy and struggle for universal human rights.
I think what I love so much about GlobeMed, what makes it so different from other clubs, is that I can work with something I can call my family here at UCLA. This upcoming March, I hope to attend the annual GlobeMed summit, further expand my knowledge on global health, and find motivation through other GlobeMed-er’s who share similar passions for advocacy on universal health. GlobeMed is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I can easily say that it is one of the best decisions I have made in my life.