Voices – 04/09/2021

Interview by Risha Chada


Monaa Gopinath – Sophomore

Tell us about yourself! What kinds of things do you like to do, Hobbies, Fun Facts, Etc?  My name is Monaa and I’m a sophomore here at MHS. I am also a co-founder of Young Leaders in Public Health and Medicine (YLPHM). Some of my interests are playing the piano, camping, reading, collecting rocks and crystals. 

 What issues are you passionate about advocating for? Are there any organizations or clubs you’re a part of that work to help spread the messages that you’re advocating for?  I am passionate about advocating for spreading awareness about public health. I strongly believe that illness prevention is better than cure-not only will people have a higher chance of living a long life, but it will be a more enjoyable life too. As a member of the national YLPHM club, I gained a better understanding of the disparities that exist in our society and the importance of community collaboration in addressing these problems. One of our mini-project MHS YLPHM is doing this year to improve public health is to write letters to senior homes to reduce loneliness among seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic by partnering with Letters for Rose.

 What do you hope to do through spreading the word and informing others about these topics?  As a YLPHM member, one of my goals, as well as the club’s, is to raise awareness for certain topics in order to inform and educate the public on how to promote health, prolong life, and prevent disease. I also hope to inform people about different career options to help them figure out what path they may want to pursue in the medical field. 

 How does your identity and the issues you support play a role in your outlook on the world?  Before I started this club, I heard a lot of people saying that they had trouble figuring out which career path they want to pursue in the medical field. So when Harshita (co-founder of YLPHM) and I started this club, we saw a lot more people who were struggling with the same issue and were interested in public health and medicine. 

 Why are these topics meaningful to you?  Raising awareness on public health is so rewarding and knowing you’re a part of a group that helps promote health, prevent injuries, diseases and eliminates health disparities. When people think about public health they only think about generic topics but there are various topics that everyone should talk about. Everyone can make a difference when it comes to public health. 

 What would you like to see change or improve within the world we live in? That is, what do you want to change by advocating for the topics you’re speaking out on?  As a co-founder of MHS YLPHM, I aim to encourage and form a group that brings positive change and exhibits an appreciation for investing in the future of others. By spreading awareness on public health I hope that everyone as a community will help to reduce premature deaths and minimize the effects of disease, disability, and injury. So it can lead to a healthy, happy, and sustainable society. 

 If there’s one thing you want people to take away from reading this, what would it be?  One thing I want people to take away from reading is a quote from HN Taylor Ramsey said, “No matter what role you play, know that you’re important and that you can make a difference and Public Health is everyone’s responsibility.”