I AM FPHLP 2021: Pilar Jackson

Pilar Jackson, FPHLP 2021

Pilar Jackson was part of the Michigan FPHLP 2021 cohort. She graduated in December 2021 from Temple University with her Bachelor of Science in Public Health. During FPHLP Summer of 2021, Pilar interned with Wayne County Health Department.

Michigan FPHLP's overall goal of increasing the diversity within the Public Health field is what enticed Pilar to apply. She feels as though it is important to be a representing face for those you are advocating on behalf of in order to reduce different health disparities, because it makes the experience more personal.

In her field placement with Wayne County Health Department, she and her other cohort members were COVID-19 Contact Investigators. In this role, they would contact those within the Wayne County Community who contracted COVID-19. They would gather all of the information, such as epidemiological information, demographics, and close contacts to give to the contact tracers.

Pilar's FPHLP experience was nothing short of amazing, even though it was virtual--FPHLP still found a way to make it feel as though everyone was important through community events such as game nights and movie nights, and even having a virtual roommate. 

If there was anything for her about the challenge of being a participant in FPHLP, it would be the virtual experience. However, through this time, it allowed her to work as a professional through time management, delegation skills, and teamwork. As a result, in both Pilar's personal and professional endeavors, it has shown her how to pivot when situations are out of her control and how to make the best of any challenging situation. Instead of not applying and not being interested, Pilar challenged herself to do this summer enrichment program, even despite coming off of a full school year virtually. 

Post-life Michigan FPHLP, Pilar was finishing up her last semester of undergrad and graduated from Temple University on December 15, 2021! She has also been finishing up her internship at the Lupus Foundation of America, Philadelphia Tri-State chapter, where she has been assisting the CEO with organizational and implementation of special events, public and professional health promotion and educational programs, and marketing, public relations, and strategic planning for key fundraising events.

As a result of completing FPHLP and the valuable skills that she learned through mentorship, field placement, and workshops, Pilar hopes to obtain a job opportunity where she is able to showcase and display these skills. Pilar plans to work within the field for about two years and soon after attend graduate school.

Applying to FPHLP is a once in a lifetime experience, where you will be able to gain valuable hands-on skills through field placement, workshops, and mentorship. Not only will you be able to build hands-on skills, but you will be able to learn about your passions within the field and make connections that will go far beyond Michigan. Additionally, being able to tackle and discuss issues within public health, such as certain health disparities with people from all different backgrounds, is what truly makes this a once in a life time and unique experience.