Public Health Intern
Public Health InternClarissa grew up and lived most of her life in the Bronx with her four parents and five dogs across two households. Her unique experience residing in a community predominantly inhabited by low socioeconomic residents showed her the struggles families face when trying to provide gold standard care for themselves and their pets.
After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Biology at St. John’s University, she decided to pursue her master’s degree in public health at CUNY’s Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. While she is currently learning how to promote equity for underserved populations, she hopes to eventually apply public health principles in the future for communities that lack trust in medicine and have poor veterinary health literacy.
Clarissa is an aspiring veterinarian who has worked in a small animal practice for the past four years as a veterinary nurse. Here, she learned various social justice issues that consistently arise in veterinary medicine, including the lack of mental health support for veterinary health professionals. Inspired by this, she wants to one day implement a focus that supports the mental health of veterinarians and veterinary support staff. She believes the experience and skills she gains at the HOPE center will help her transform her vision into reality. Clarissa is working with a team that aims to strengthen HOPE’s resources and practice for the Harlem community and beyond.