Dylan Lamberti is the communications intern for Shot@Life, and started with the campaign at the beginning of 2018. As the communications intern, he works to support the communication’s teams activities on the website and Shot@Life’s social media channels. Dylan graduated from McGill University in May 2017 with a BA in International Development and English Literature, and is currently completing his MA in Political Communication from American University and a Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
How long have you been with Shot@Life?
I’ve been working with the campaign for four months now! I’m only here for a semester, so my last day is in two weeks.
What has been your favorite moment since joining the team?
The most exciting part of my time with the Shot@Life campaign has to be the summit. I joined in January, so the summit was only my fourth week working with the team, and I had to learn what was going on pretty quickly, but it was a great environment. I had the opportunity to interview many champions one on one, and really got to see the energy and dedication that they bring to their advocacy activities.
It was also an extremely eye-opening experience to get to walk around Capitol Hill and see the government in action. I’ve never had the chance to visit the Capitol before our Hill Day, and sitting in on champion meetings with congressional staffers was the best introduction that I think I could have ever gotten.
Outside of a specific moment, I’d say being able to work with a team that is as close-knit and dedicated to what they’re doing like the Shot@Life team has been a great experience. Coming to work everyday and knowing that our entire team is a cohesive whole focused on improving children’s health around the world has been a huge source of motivation for me, and definitely helps me get out of bed in the morning after my 11 PM classes.
What do you think the biggest challenge is for vaccine advocacy?
I think the largest challenge facing vaccine advocacy is a lack of knowledge about its affordability and its effectiveness. The fact that humanity eradicated smallpox in 1980 is an accomplishment that can’t be understated: it represents a massive reduction in human suffering and a huge step forward towards a future that is equitable and happy. I think if people had a clearer picture about how close we are to eradicating diseases like polio forever, and how little funding that last push to eradication takes in the broad scheme of things, they’d become much more passionate about advocating for increased vaccine access.
What do you wish people knew about advocacy?
The effectiveness of it all! I think it can be easy to think of yourself as just one person, but it’s absolutely true that every person has a voice. The efforts of our champions throughout the year, but during our summit particularly, have helped ensure that funding levels for global health were maintained or even increased in some cases for FY18. That’s a tangible difference, and it’s one that was accomplished by people expressing support for what they believed in.
What excites you most about your work?
I’ve already touched on this a bit, but I really do think that the most exciting thing about working with Shot@Life is the fact that I’m part of a team that is working tirelessly to help people. I am, in my own small way, helping to ensure that children around the world have a fair shot at life, happiness, and everything else that comes with a healthy childhood. Being a part of a larger whole that believes that progress can be made towards a better global future is something that I will always value about my time with Shot@Life.
What’s fun fact about you?
Maybe not a “fun” fact, but I have arachnophobia – even through I lived in Canberra for six months. Having to deal with Huntsmen spiders sneaking into my dorm was not a fun experience, but I do definitely want to go back to Australia at some point in the future!