Name: Roselie Agulto
University: Portland State University
Major: Public Health
Expected Graduation Date: August 2021
Hometown: Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands
Why did you choose your major?
I chose to study public health because I knew that I wanted to pursue a career where I could impact the lives of many in my community. Living in the Islands where resources are scarce, it’s difficult to stay healthy and have all your needs met. Disease and short life expectancies are disproportionate burdens across the Pacific Islands and that is something that I am passionate about changing in the future. Through public health, I know that I could do just that, by implementing programs and pushing for policies that will encourage healthier behaviors and lifestyles.
Why is it important to have more women’s representation in politics?
It is important to have more women’s representation in politics because women bring unique experiences, skills and knowledge to the table. Women have been historically underrepresented in many areas, including politics, which have resulted in discriminatory and inequitable laws and policies that harm them. It is necessary that more women are represented in politics in order to reform and revise laws so that we can create a more inclusive and equitable society. I believe more women in political leadership roles are also essential because they place greater priority on women’s rights and create pathways towards gender equality.
Have you learned something during your internship with LatinasRepresent that you didn’t know before?
The most surprising thing I learned was that women face a lot of challenges when running for office. Some barriers include women having to leave their full-time jobs to commit to campaigning; not being able to afford unpaid internships; lack of empowerment; family and caregiving responsibilities, etc. Organizations like LatinasRepresent help bridge the gap in opportunities and eliminate those barriers for minority communities, which is what I appreciate the most about being a LatinasRepresent intern.
As a recent college graduate, what advice do you have for other women navigating college and internships?
My advice would be to find mentors that are passionate about the work they do and that are invested in your growth. I would also say to be open to new experiences and knowledge because it will expose you to new perspectives that will elevate and innovate your way of thinking about the world. Most importantly, find your community, whatever that may be because they are the biggest support system you can have throughout your college career!
What is your favorite form of self-care?
Talking to family and friends from back home!
What’s next? What are your career aspirations?
I hope to become a director of a health promotion program in the Pacific Islands one day! With my background in research, I would like to assess unhealthy behaviors and implement solutions to help people live healthier lives.
Graduating from college is a big deal, who deserves a shoutout for helping you get through college?
I’d like to thank my family, friends, partner, mentors, advisors, professors, and community who have supported me throughout my educational journey!
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