I AM FPHLP 2016: Taylor Davis

Taylor Davis

Taylor Davis was part of the 2016 FPHLP cohort. She is currently a senior at Indiana University, majoring in Community Health with a minor in Global Health Promotion. This past summer, Taylor's field placement was with Unified HIV Health and Beyond in Ypsilanti, MI. In this role, she was responsible for community outreach aimed at harm reduction, positive prevention, provider education, support groups, and medical and nonmedical case management. More specifically, Taylor helped organize National HIV Testing Day at Walgreens; set up display tables to start conversations with patrons at bars and other venues; connected with providers and organizations using a strategic work plan; engaged youth and parents at a basketball event; and created two interactive outreach boards with HIV/STI facts for Washtenaw County.

Taylor faced her greatest challenge as a participant while learning to network. She explains, "I always knew the importance of networking, but sometimes I was nervous and did not know what to say." Encouragement from program staff helped Taylor practice talking to presenters on curriculum days.

Taylor also participated in a number of volunteer opportunities during the summer, which she found particularly rewarding. "My favorite community service was being able to distribute water and baby wipes to community members in Flint, MI," she says. Another highlight Taylor's program experience was a group trip to Canada. In Buxton, Ontario, she was eager to learn about the last stop of the Underground Railroad.

Since the program ended, Taylor has been completing her final year of college. Taylor serves as both an ambassador for Indiana University School of Public Health and Chairman of Health for the Indiana University Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She has also done some traveling. Over Thanksgiving Break, Taylor helped with home security in the Dominican Republic. One of her projects was to make concrete from scratch for the floor of a local school. Eventually, Taylor hopes to attend graduate school to earn her MPH. She is interested in traveling internationally and domestically to address either maternal and child health or HIV/STIs.

Thinking back to what led her to participate in FPHLP, Taylor explains that she wanted to learn more about different areas of public health. "I was excited about receiving mentorship, developing professionalism, and meeting people from across the US." Taylor recommends that anyone considering FPHLP step outside of their comfort zone and try something new. "If this [public health] is a field that you enjoy or are passionate about, then give it a try," she says. "It was one of the best decisions I have made for my future career."