Name: Taneeka Richardson, MPH
HSHPS Program: Office of Minority Health
Program Year: 2015
Institute of Graduation and Degree: University of Maryland, College Park, Masters of Public Health
How did you become interested in health and, in particular, Hispanic health issues?I became interested in health based off my personal experiences of growing up in poverty and having to overcome adversities. I grew up in Baltimore City, but later relocated to the suburbs with my own family using a housing mobility voucher. The voucher allowed my children the opportunity to grow up in a diverse community with low crime and good schools. It was through these experiences that I became interested in public health. I became interested in Hispanic issues by doing AmeriCorps for a year where I was a Navigator assisting the Hispanic community with signing up for the Affordable Care Act.
What HSHPS program did you participate in and what made you decide to apply?
I participated in the Office of Minority Health. I applied because I wanted to learn what it was like working in a federal organization and I wanted to learn more about the Hispanic community and issues directly affecting them.
How did the program benefit you personally and professionally?
The program benefited me by allowing me the opportunity to network with other fellows as well as network with federal officials to gain a prospective on what I could possible do with my career. Participating in this fellowship is one of the reason I decided to go into a policy development career.
How did the program help you move forward in your career?
After the fellowship, I moved into a research internship for the same program that provided my family a housing voucher to move to the suburbs. I assisted with the development of program evaluation surveys and assisted with research grants.
What research/projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working on tracking all federal, state and local policy that affects Maryland. I am particularly focused on housing and healthcare, however I also follow immigration and criminal justice policy as well.
What advice can you give to young people who have an interest in Hispanic health or the health professions?
To keep going, because its an important issue. To get involved with immigration advocacy organizations in their community and to keep up with the policies that affect the population that they wish to serve upon entering the workforce.