I’ve always been interested in reproductive health and justice, but the community I come from, we don’t talk much about it. When we do, most of the time others would be making fun. We can’t even ask our elders out of respect, and most of the time we get discouraged when asked. So there wasn’t much of learning and exploring about this topic while growing up.
Summer before my senior year in college, I got matched with Planned Parenthood of New York City at the Executive, Research and Evaluation department for a year long paid internship through CUNY Service Corps program. I did have some idea about the work Planned Parenthood do but didnt know as much as I do now.
When I started my internship last fall of 2015, it was during the time when anti-abortionist released those highly edited videos. Occasionally I would come across protester right outside the building, but nothing stoped me because the work I was doing mattered and was much more important than the things they were up to.
At the Executive office, I had the privilege of working directly with the CEO and chief of staffs. I also had a super cool supervisor Erika, who supported and helped me learn and grow throughout my time there. My responsibility primarily involved administration and office work, community outreach, creating and updating marketing materials, outreach materials and newsletters. Data collection and management, planning board meetings, research and analysis. And also expand the use of Salesforce across multiple departments and enhance quality of data management. I also facilitated increase cross-departmental collaboration through Intranet and Salesforce improvement. And with the Research & Evaluation department I supported with their efforts to use data to measure impact and effectiveness on various project.
Throughout my time there I took full advantage of all opportunities as much as I could, and I consider it as the “Golden year at PPNYC”. In this past one year, Planned Parenthood was attacked by anti abortionist and at the same year we persecuted individuals behind those highly edited videos. We also endorsed Hillary Clinton, US first female Democratic Presidential nominee. We also rallied for “Fight for $15” and “Paid family sick leave” in which I got to see US Vice President Joe Biden and PPNYC raised their minimum wage to $15. We were also able to work with local governments and pass the bill that made women sanitary hygiene kits tax free in New York State and made it available for free in NYC High Schools. These are some of PPNYC few achievements and work during my time there. And this year I am very excited to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Planned Parenthood, continuing their services in providing Reproductive Healthcare to everyone no matter what their colour, gender, sexuality, religion or their last name is, their immigration status or their economic background.
“Planned Parenthood of New York City increased my understanding of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Reproductive Justice issues; gave me an insight into organizational development and management; expanded my research skills and database management experience; technical proficiency with research and CRM tools.” –Aatish Gurung