Jenesca William is the Grassroots Advocacy Intern for the Shot@Life campaign this fall. Learn more about her in this Q&A!
Shot@Life is a perfect fit for me — the campaign brings together my passion for advocacy and global health in one place with the chance to work alongside other like-minded people. The extra bonus is living the far-fetched dream of being part of the United Nation Foundation and taking actionable steps to make strides towards achieving the Sustainable Developmental Goals.
I am from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA and previously lived in St. Louis where I completed a B.S. in Public Health and Theological Studies at Saint Louis University. I am currently finishing my MPH degree there with a concentration in Global Health & Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness.
Prior to starting this role at Shot@Life, I was a Graduate Assistant for the Marketing and Communication team at Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice. I amplified faculty and student work and supported campaigns such as the FLUShot initiative on campus. In a second role, as a Graduate Intern for Campus Ministry at SLU, I supported students across different programs, including advocacy on Capitol Hill as part of the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice, immersion trip to Navajo Nation, and health and wellness initiatives for students. More recently, I assisted Leaders Igniting Generational Healing and Transformation (LIGHT) with promoting their first annual LIGHT Festival to reconnect the public to public health.
Since the start of my public health journey, I hoped to be part of initiatives to eradicate polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases among children. Having the unique opportunity to do exactly that at the beginning of my career is beyond exciting. I’m look forward to bringing my excitement for advocacy with my passion to increase access for childhood immunization, as well as empower others to be champions for childhood vaccines and give every kid a shot at life.
In our busy lives, it is easy to have an individualized perspective on life and forget how interconnected we are due to globalization. Our interconnectedness across the globe places an emphasis to see vaccines as a collective good. Advocating for equitable and global access to childhood vaccines not only creates a positive impact for the child who receives the vaccine but also to those who live across the globe who may not actively think about risk of vaccine preventable diseases. Transforming vaccine apathy to vaccine advocacy will bring us closer to a world free of vaccine preventable diseases.
Over the years, I’ve been to eight countries and excited to add more to the list!