The Change I Want to Bring to the World
Working as a professional ballet dancer throughout my undergraduate schooling while juggling clubs, artistic, and personal commitments has strengthened my leadership skills and brought to light how important it is for me to guide others.
As a result of lacking such guidance while navigating the ballet industry, I would like to ensure future generations do not suffer through the same struggles. In ten years, I would like to have an established program for young ballet dancers to consider a path in STEM and to have a mentorship program for such individuals, with an emphasis on feminist values. There is such beauty in being a woman, and I would like to share that, keeping in mind the words of Ruth Bader Ginsberg: “fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
In addition to this project, I would like to develop a support system for survivors of sexual misconduct in the performing arts and a comprehensive healthcare system for female athletes that includes medical doctors, physical therapists, and psychologists. Such holistic care was never available to me at any of the organizations of which I was a part, and I believe this is a vital part of success in such demanding sports.
Furthermore, I would like to implement more “Dance for Parkinson’s” programs, in which dance classes are offered to patients with Parkinson’s Disease to improve their coordination and to treat their motor symptoms. Finding a way to integrate dance with science is very important to me.
How I’ve Been Involved in Changemaking So Far
While at the Royal Ballet School, I led the “aDvANCE” project, a 12-week endeavor to create a three-hour show which integrated my school and a class of underprivileged East London high schoolers who had never danced before. I was able to utilize my passions for choreography and leadership to harness the creative and expressive power of these young peers. The culmination of this hard work was incredible, with many meaningful and lasting friendships. The most impactful outcome for me was that many chose to keep dancing as an outlet for their pain or frustration, instead of resorting to harmful behaviors.
Now, as a Pilates and rehabilitation specialist, I am passionate about helping people heal, whether physically or psychologically. Having helped hundreds of people regain the strength to complete daily tasks has been extremely fulfilling.
Furthermore, I have served in the Women in Medicine & Science club at Columbia for three years now, working with a team of brilliant young women to solve major healthcare and educational problems in Manhattan’s social structure.
What Drew Me to This Fellowship
Everything that the Mentora Foundation stands for is deep and meaningful, and I am extremely excited for the opportunity to evolve as a human being this summer. Being a part of the Youth Changemaker Fellowship will enable me to fulfill my potential as a leader. I want to optimize my opportunities to reform medicine by approaching medical problems with an emphasis on impact, interpersonal connection, and compassion. I believe I have the ability to enact change, so I have the responsibility to do so.