If you’ve taken part in any of Shot@Life’s advocacy events or have spent any time on our champion community, you’ve likely interacted directly with Gabriela, Shot@Life’s campaign associate. Gabriela works directly to help organize our champion’s advocacy and fundraising efforts, and plays a huge role in organizing our annual champion summit on Capitol Hill. Gabriela recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in Political Science and International Studies and a Certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies. Prior to joining the UN Foundation and the Shot@Life team, Gabriela worked on campaigns and for the Wisconsin State Assembly, and has also interned for the Alliance to Save Energy in DC.
How long have you been with Shot@Life?
I first got involved with Shot@Life as an intern in 2014 and then as a Champion after that. For a little over a year, I’ve been a professional staff member.
What has been your favorite moment since joining the team?
My favorite moment has to be our summits. It is when all the work we do comes to life, and every Champion I get to speak to reminds me of why the work we do is so important.
What do you think the biggest challenge is for vaccine advocacy?
In my mind, vaccines are, ideally, an easy, routine, and honestly mundane part of preventative healthcare. Because of this, it is sometimes hard to remember not everyone has the access to vaccines that most Americans do. When it comes to diseases like polio or measles, more and more Americans don’t directly see the effects of these debilitating diseases in their communities. Both of these things push vaccines to the back of our minds when we think about global health, but they truly a foundation of a healthy life.
What do you wish people knew about Shot@Life/Vaccines/Advocacy?
I really wish people knew that in this political climate, immunizations are such a bipartisan issue, and it is so easy to use your voice. Something as simple as a call may not seem like much, but multiplied by hundreds of voices, it is impossible to ignore.
What excites you most about your work?
The most exciting part of my job is getting to connect with people across the country. We can get so focused on Congress or something happening in D.C. When you get to work with people of all ages and backgrounds, it’s a great reminder of how many dedicated individuals there are across the country and truly around the world.
Why did you join the Shot@Life team?
I was brought in as an intern with a strong interest in the UN system and the UN Foundation. After graduating from college, I knew the foundation was a supportive environment with an excellent mission. When a position opened up to work on the Shot@Life team again, I was sold!
Do you have any hidden talents or fun facts that our champions may not know about you?
If I have any hidden talents, they’re so hidden I don’t even know about them! However, a fun fact is that I did have the opportunity to attend the same baseball game as Raul Castro and the Obamas during President Obama’s visit to Cuba two years ago.