Tell us about your organization:
Our goal as an organization is to educate parents about the facts and importance of vaccination, and we aim to do this by presenting information about vaccination at Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) meetings around the state.
Why do you think your organization is important and meaningful on campus?
Vaccination is essential to the health and safety of the community, but there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings surrounding the topic. By educating parents, we are allowing them to make an educated decision about whether or not to vaccinate their kids, and hopefully once they are educated, they will choose to do so. The club is also a great outlet for science majors who want to get involved with the community and science education.
How did you decide to take on your role as president of Vaccinate America?
I was inspired to start Vaccinate America last spring. I’m a Molecular Biology major, and I was learning a lot about vaccination in my classes. As I learned more about vaccination and the misunderstandings surrounding it, I began to realize how important discussion on the topic is. I was talking with one of my friends about it, and she encouraged me to take action myself. I first developed a presentation on my own, something that I would present by myself at PTO meetings. However, the more I talked to other students about the project, the more people seemed interested. With the help of another student, I turned the idea into a club.
How does your work with Vaccinate America give you the opportunity to use your gifts and passions?
I love science – learning about it and talking about it – and this club allows me to talk science with lots of people who would otherwise not be exposed to these topics. It also connects me to others who are also interested in vaccination and who want to educate others.
Why do you think your organization makes a difference in this world?
Vaccination is so important to the health of the community – I really feel like we are able to educate parents and encourage people to vaccinate their kids. Ultimately, this will make all kids (and adults) safer from disease.