January 30, 2013
What can I really do? The problem of HIV and health awareness in general is one that always felt way too large for one person, especially myself to conquer. I never really talked with my parents about it, because I didn’t want them to think I was overly sexually active, and that I was worried about it. That and the fact that in many households the topics of sex and STD’s are still taboo, often swept under the rug.
Yeah I got tested at yearly awareness drives, but never really felt I was making a difference. However, midway through my senior year I was introduced to the My Health Impact Network, and the project they undertook. I had always felt too small to tackle such a large issue, but here were a group of my peers finding a way to make a serious impact on their community. They were using what they knew, and the skills they had to get people talking, get people caring, and showing the way get involved in the fight.
Once I became an official member of the team it all started to make sense to me. The goal wasn’t to invent the cure for HIV, they knew that was beyond their means, but what they could do was engage the followers, spread the word about breakthroughs. We strive to break through the taboo and create a network of people to support and challenge one another, not just about HIV, but about all health related issues.
We use social media, and recently mobile devices to keep people engaged and in the know. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” That phrase has had new meaning to me in the past few months. I have been challenged to use whatever skills I have to make an imprint on my generation. So I extend that challenge you, not to try to do it all alone, but to use your voice, your skills and your experiences to make an impact.
What can you do? Only YOU know the true answer to that.
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In Partnership with: Poole College of Management, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Science Foundation, Penn State