My REAP Story: Evelyn Zhang, Stanford University '20
My REAP Story: Evelyn Zhang
Evelyn Zhang, Stanford University Class of 2021
Affiliation: Stanford University
Area of Study: Human Biology with a concentration in Infectious Diseases in Global Health
Q: What are you most proud of regarding your work with REAP?
A: We were interviewing a mother in a rural village in China during this summer, in regard to migration trends. We asked the mother if she had ever thought about leaving the village, and she said, "I would rather be anywhere but here". The way she said that, with so much longing but also so much hope as she held her one-year old son in her arms, deeply moved me. It then struck me that the work I was doing with REAP was helping tell the stories of these mothers, these villagers. By interviewing and collecting data and presenting our findings, we were illuminating stories that haven't been heard before and understanding the best way to meet the needs of the people. Being able to work and contribute to an organization that does these things is one of my proudest accomplishments.
Q: Do you have a favorite moment from the field?
A: One of the highlights of the REAP summer internship was when the entire team got to meet a class of rural Chinese high school students. Their energy and excitement to meet us was contagious, and we spent the rest of our time playing a trivia game with them. It was really cool to meet and get to know this group of kids who live lives completely different from ours halfway across the world, yet see them as just teenagers who love messing around and hate homework and want to do all the fun things that teenagers want to do.
Q: How did working with REAP impact your future plans?
A: Working with REAP and getting to see first-hand what public health research looks like definitely shaped my plans for the future. I always knew I was interested in health and medicine, so I plan on going to medical school, but being exposed real public health research has inspired me to simultaneously pursue a master’s in public health. Regardless, working with REAP this summer has widened my understanding of global policy, public health and education research, and it has solidified the place of this work as part of my life.