Hey y’all! I hope you guys are staying safe and healthy! Sorry I haven’t posted in quite a while – I honestly didn’t know what to write about with all the chaos that’s been going on in the world. Anyway, I figured I should start posting regularly again and I wanted to kick things off by talking about an incredibly rewarding organization that I’ve been involved with.

The Global Health Leaders Conference at JHU (The GHLC at JHU)  is a student and faculty-led program that features world leaders in global health, public health, and medicine, brings together exceptional high school students from across the US and abroad, and creates a platform for both students and global health leaders to share their work and ideas. The organization was founded in 2019 by Siam Rezwan, who is a current undergraduate Public Health student (and also happens to be one of my best friends at Hopkins!) When he reached out to me early on and asked if I would be interested in being a co-director for the conference I was immediately so excited, but little did I know that it would end up being one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever been a part of.

Our first annual conference was set to be in April, but of course with COVID-19 and all of us having to leave campus, we had to improvise. We ended up holding the conference in a virtual format where we had student presentations across two weekends and presentations by our featured speakers scheduled throughout the summer. Our students presented on a variety of different topics: everything from child labor and gender bias in healthcare to malaria and the intersection between technology and medicine. Each student presentation left the entire conference board feeling incredibly inspired and excited for the future of public health. 

Just a few of our featured speakers this year were Dr. Peter Agre, who is a Nobel laureate, as well as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and the Director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute; Dr. Mikhail “Dr. Mike” Varshavski, who is a Social Media Icon and a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician; and Dr. Roopa Dhatt, who is an Internal Medicine Physician as well as the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Women in Global Health,  which is an organization that strives to bring greater gender equality to global health leadership.

Dr. Mike presenting at our conference- trust me when I tell you that I had a MAJOR fan girl moment!

Overall, I’m just so grateful that I was able to be a part of such an amazing experience this summer, and I can’t wait for all the future conferences and things that we’ll do together as an organization. If you would like to learn more about our conference or are interested in applying for next year’s conference open to all students in grades 9-12, feel free to check out our Conference WebsiteYouTube Channel, or follow our Instagram! You can also feel free to reach out to our Conference Board with any comments or questions by using the “Contact Us” tab on our website.

Stay tuned for more posts that are coming soon, but for now I hope you all have an amazing start to the upcoming school year!

Until Next Time, Neha