Q. How did you end up at Northwest Health Foundation?
A. I actually came to be at NWHF for the summer of 2014 because Nichole [NWHF's President] mentioned the internship program to my Mom (Darla Hilmoe, her executive assistant while at NAYA), who then relayed the message to me. I started volunteering at NAYA in 2010, and I love the sense of community that NAYA provides to the Native American population. That is where I met Nichole, who has provided me with outstanding support both professionally and personally throughout the years. Once I heard of the internship opportunity, I contacted Eddie and was so excited to hear that I would be spending my summer with NWHF!
Q. How do you relate to NWHF's mission?
A. NWHF strives to eliminate health inequities in areas including race/ethnicity, geography, and disability status. Personally, I have faced racial adversity throughout my life as a Native American and Saudi Arabian woman. Because of my experiences, I always strive to create an inclusive and accepting environment around me. These adversities have made me stronger, and I really enjoy finding the silver lining in spinning a negative experience into a positive force for change.
Q. What have you learned from your experience?
A. I have learned many skills at NWHF, including how to approach a community I may not be familiar with and establishing a relationship, contacting key community members, learning how a site visit is conducted, and seeing firsthand how the grant review process works. I have also learned how to be a self-starter and recognize what important steps need to be taken to make an event successful. On top of all of that, I have learned dozens of new acronyms!
Q. If you could make one change in your community, what change would you make?
A. I would eliminate all forms of “-isms” from my community. I feel like with heavy topics such as racism, sexism, and even “fat-ism” eliminated, positive change would spiral from it and an even more positive and inclusive community would be formed.
Q. What has been your favorite moment at NWHF?
A. My favorite moment at NWHF actually happens every week. I really enjoy the quirky check-in questions that kick off the weekly staff meetings. The questions have ranged from “What fashion statement is uniquely yours?” to “What scent reminds you of your childhood?” It’s just a fun way to get to know the people at NWHF a bit better, and the answers always provide some laughs.
Q. What are you going to do next?
A. After my summer with NWHF, I am resuming nursing school at Linfield Good-Samaritan School of Nursing. I will be graduated in August of 2015, and from there I hope to find a full-time job as a registered nurse, hopefully working in a labor and delivery department. I am also going to start a new volunteer experience at the International Center for Traditional Childbearing in a couple of weeks.
Q. If you could combine any two animals, what animals would you combine?
A. I would combine a salmon and an eagle, so that way the seagle (get it?) would be able to swim, live on land, and fly. Plus, both of these animals are noble and respected beings in Native American spirituality and culture.
Nadia will finish her internship with NWHF this month. We are so thankful for all of her help this summer, particularly on our Healthy Beginnings + Healthy Communities Initiative and Partners Investing in Nursing's Future. Good luck with your future endeavors, Nadia! Come back and visit!