Jasmine Peng ’20
Hometown: Belton, Texas
Major: Biological Sciences
Minors: Inequality Studies; Global Health; Nutrition
How has your participation in the community-engaged leadership program supported you in helping people get along better? It’s always nice to be reminded of the unique life perspectives that each individual brings to a setting, most of which is not obvious upon first interaction.
Community-engaged leadership is … collaboration.
I work with my community(ies) to address … healthcare inequality and social determinants of health.
Fun fact: I was born in Shanghai but spent an equal part of my childhood in Ithaca and Texas.
The best part about the community-engaged leadership program is … meeting others who are passionate about doing meaningful work.
For my Stage 2 committed project, I … volunteered at Building Caring Communities, a program that creates centers for children with disabilities in Moshi, Tanzania. I did my work the summer of 2019 with Cornell’s Global Health program and was able to see health as a dynamic concept across all scales—individual to global.
I mostly assisted those who worked at the center with their daily tasks, while keeping in mind the need to be ethically mindful when volunteering internationally. I think I had a positive impact on my host community because many of the workers had health issues that made jobs like sweeping or cooking painful. I was able to temporarily relieve them from strenuous responsibilities.
The other component of the program was working collaboratively with students from a local medical college to create a health policy case study on a topic of interest. My group chose to investigate the unequal burden of acute respiratory infections in children under five in rural and urban areas. Our research included a comprehensive literature review as well as interviews with relevant stakeholders. I made a positive impact by contributing to scientific literature and illuminating an existing problem, as well as potential solutions.
My community partner(s) taught me … to have faith in humanity and the commonalities found among all people, and to be flexible and appreciative when communicating across cultures.
I plan to continue my journey as an engaged leader by … identifying communities of need in whatever place I end up after graduating and utilizing the skills I’ve learned through the certificate to create meaningful change at a community level.
Certificate in Community-Engaged Leadership
Build on your interests and apply your experiences (from courses to extracurricular activities) to this program to develop the skills you need to be a community-engaged leader.