Intern Updates: Maysee Lao
The following is a blog post from Maysee Lao. Lao is a WIPPS/AmeriCorps intern. She graduated from UW Oshkosh in May of 2020 with a degree in Biology and a Healthcare Science emphasis and recently completed the Advocates in Medicine Pathway program through North Central AHEC.
I first heard of the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS) through the Community Health Internship Program (CHIP) that I was a part of in June of 2021. At the time, I was an intern at a different site, but eventually as it came to an end, I was able to connect with Dr. Norrbom, WIPPS Health Policy Fellow. That was when I found out that there was an opportunity for me to intern at WIPPS through AmeriCorps.
Fast forward to today. I’m lucky and happy to share that I’ve had the chance to experience so much in only a few months of being a part of WIPPS. I’ve helped co-facilitate LENA Start Marathon County classes, assisted with research, helped with the Hmong and Hispanic Communication Network Project (H2N) vaccine clinics, and much more. A project that I helped with which I found to be super interesting was the Wausau School District College and Career Readiness, which was led by Sharon Belton, WIPPS Senior Policy Fellow. The Wausau School District wants to help students make more informed decisions about their future career options, and they asked WIPPS Research Partners to meet with parents and students to discuss a number of topics. I specifically helped with note taking and recording during the student focus group discussions and analyzing the data for the report post student and parent focus group discussions. This allowed me to really hear what the students and parents had to say, and it was all so interesting because there were so many different perspectives from both sides. I understood many of the student perspectives because I was once in their shoes not too long ago.
Assisting with the Wausau School District College and Career Readiness project was an eye opening experience. I never realized how much work and time went into facilitating focus groups, analyzing data, and writing reports until working with WIPPS. Through this project, I noticed that many students were grateful for the opportunity to share their school experiences and future plans. They enjoyed being heard and I’m pleased to know that I played a part in this. This project greatly emphasized the importance of teamwork and what can be accomplished with a team. With the help of other colleagues, the student focus group discussions were completed successfully, and there was great data collection which was incorporated into the report. The purpose of the project was to share the experiences of students and parents and we did just that. WIPPS has allowed me to learn, grow, and serve the community in many different aspects. I’m appreciative of all the opportunities that have been presented to me and I look forward to continuing to serve the community.