Elly De Jesus

Elly De Jesus

Elly De Jesus, Research Assistant at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Peace Corps Masters International Student and future Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, West Africa.

Tell us briefly about your role in this project.

My role in this project is an exciting and new role.  I am an MI student that has had the opportunity to work on the project for a year while attending UIC.  The goal for me is to acquire the necessary knowledge about the project prior to my departure date for the Peace Corps in Senegal.  Once I’m in service I will fulfill the duties of a Peace Corps Volunteer and also be an asset for the project and the community I’ll be working/living in.

What opportunities have you had to learn?

I’ve had many opportunities to learn.  As an MPH candidate and also a research assistant for this project I’ve been able to apply what I learn in class to my role.  From assessing the needs of the community, understanding barriers to access, and especially developing policy – I’ve been able to observe, learn and contribute to the project.  This opportunity to travel to Senegal has also been a great learning experience.  I’ve learned so much in such a short time span relating to culture, the partnership and the project.  I was able to meet Kedougou’s Regional Medical Officer, the District Medical Officer, other Peace Corps Volunteers and more.  From these opportunities to learn, I have worked and will continue to work with incredible people who share the same passion for health equity.

To you, what does it mean to have peace.

To have peace is to have within, a sort of stillness.  It’s to be open and accepting of whatever situation you find yourself in.  To me, to have peace is to give without conditions or expecting anything back.  It’s to live with passion and purpose, and to hold on to that no matter the adversities you may face.

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