2016-2017 MCN Fellow | Undergraduate University: Miami Dade College North | Studies: Biology and Public Policy
"My current project is called HealthnetworRx; it's an online health/research community and database that connects health professionals from all over the globe. It's objective: to streamline distribution & reporting and improve the efficiency and reach of messages.
My hope for this website is that it becomes the main medium for health professionals to communicate as well as for the public to receive vital healthcare regulations and relevant information from all over the globe. If the project is successful, it should bridge the divide between clinical practice and international policy. In addition, the website will have a home page which contains updated news on international epidemics and outbreaks (such as the Zika virus or Ebola). Most importantly, it will contain communication options such as chatting, messaging, or video chatting/conferencing. HealthnetworRx will be optimized for low bandwidth Internet connections and operate on lower end computers and tablets, which will eventually become accessible on smartphones.
I am a firm believer that private entrepreneurs can do more public good when they team up with government. I hope and am actively working on establishing partnership with government agencies such as UNICEF, WHO, and the CDC in order to build a better form of public health surveillance. With some form of a grant, I will be able to establish an infrastructure for public health prevention, which offers tested, cost-effective ways to protect the public so as to not always play catch-up after an epidemic has already gained momentum.
To be quite honest, I didn't expect to gain a lot from my time at MCN; I though that since I was trying to build a social enterprise instead of representing student organizations like others, I would not be able to relate and take much away from the program. But instead, participating in the program, attending the weekly meetings, and connecting with likeminded individuals has been extremely beneficial. It was so much more than I thought it would be, and I am very thankful.
There were several speakers during my fellowship at MCN that impacted me deeply and shared some lessons that left a lasting impression on me. They are:
- Yeni Simon, OUT Miami: 1 hour of volunteering is equivalent to $23 of work in the non-profit sector
- Victoria Fear, The Miami Foundation: "The pitch is dead, long live the conversation."
- Dr. Michael Lenaghan, Miami Dade College: "Do you want to be important or do you want to be influential?" & "Most governments were founded for the happiness of the people."
- And of course our amazing hub-site director Liz Rebecca Alarcon, I truly do not have enough space in this blog post to express the immeasurable wisdom and insight that she has shared with us all.
Since the creation of my project through Clinton Global Initiative University, I have scoured the Internet to find resources to assist in not only networking, but also mentorship, guidance, and growth. With that being said, MCN was the perfect next step in my project development. I was able to connect with so many individuals, especially those in the entrepreneurial and social impact world, many of whom I would've never otherwise met. I was able to have reflections, enlightening discussions, as well as implement design-thinking and inclusiveness in my daily life.
There is an African proverb that says, “If you want to travel fast, go alone. If you want to travel far, go together.” No matter how self-sufficient we all believe ourselves to be, the truth is we all need a support system, especially when pursuing a dream, purpose, vision, or calling in life. My growing desire to become a change-maker is making me realize the importance of this proverb more than ever. MCN embraces and encourages "traveling with companions" as people journey towards their respective goals; only when we work together can we truly reach our fullest potential and go farther in life."
*The "quotes" above have been edited for concision and clarity.