Millena Yohannes ’22
Minors: Inequality Studies; Global Health; Law and Society
The issue of public concern I’m passionate about is … health inequity and lack of access to health care, especially in communities of color and those with high rates of poverty. I am interested in learning more about the social determinants of health and how they impact disparities in health and health care delivery.
Engagement experience: My freshman year, I joined the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, where I have been able to engage in so many unique service opportunities and immerse myself in my off-campus community. Among other service, my favorite experiences have been volunteering at Loaves and Fishes, a soup kitchen downtown, and acting as a pen-pal for Prisoners Express. Outside of my fraternity, I tutored and served as a mentor at a middle school in Ithaca for students with varying levels of behavioral and learning disabilities. I also serve as a mentor and instructor for a community organization I am part of, Ballet and Books, in which we offer free ballet lessons for three- to nine-year-olds and one-on-one mentorship centered around literacy and improving reading skills in children from lower income backgrounds.
As an Engaged Ambassador, I … am a peer mentor for students pursuing the Certificate in Community-Engaged Leadership. I help guide students as they begin the certificate and act as a resource for any questions and concerns they may have as they begin the program.
I got involved because … I want to help create an inclusive space for students to find and reflect on their engagement experiences. My goal is to help students realize the extent of opportunities offered by the Office of Engagement Initiatives and the certificate program. The opportunities for enrichment and engagement are endless, and I want to help make the student body aware of the resources available to them. Overall, I aim to aid students in making their time at Cornell as meaningful and impactful as possible.
My friends would say I’m … goofy, but hardworking.
Best Cornell memory (so far!): When my friends got Jonathan Van Ness and all of Bailey Hall to sing me “Happy Birthday” on my 19th!
Fun fact: I’ve ridden a camel!
Future plans: I aspire to pursue a MD/MPH degree and become a practicing physician while still remaining committed to increasing health equity, improving public health and community engagement.
A cohort of students who have completed the Certificate in Community-Engaged Leadership and lead a variety of special projects for the Office of Engagement Initiatives