My presentation in response to the question: The StartingBloc Fellowship is a diverse community, with Fellows coming from a variety of sectors and backgrounds. How will you contribute to this community?
HOW WILL I CONTRIBUTE TO THESTARTINGBLOC COMMUNITY? MARSHA-GAIL DAVIS FIRST-YEAR MEDICAL STUDENT UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
WITH MY LEADERSHIPI have served and am serving in various leadership positions:• President of SOCA (2007)• Co-Founder of NOLArize! (2007-2010)• Organizer for the Jena 6 March on the Swarthmore College campus (2007)• Current UCSD Free Clinic Nutrition Manager (2013)• Creative Director of the Cut-Off Youth Library Project (2008)My experience in leadership has taught me about courage, hardwork, vision and the power of communication. It has also taughtme that one individual has the ability to create a great deal ofchange. Mahatma Ghandi said it best, “Be the change you wantto see in the world.” The ability to make change is inherentlycoupled with leadership. I find this skill to be beneficial is everyaspect of life and a wonderful skill I hope to contribute to thiscommunity.
WITH MY CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION• Creative consultant for the non-profit, HealthTank• Creator of MishMAGDAV crafts business• Creator of Bangin’ Bird Food Blog• Student at Penland School of CraftsMy creative skills are some of the strongest skills that I possess A dress I was designing atand constantly apply in my everyday life. This is the Penlandcharacteristic most often used to describe me as an individual.I believe that a creative approach to problem solving often leadsto the most effective solutions. Viewing a problem from a newperspective can provide information that was not initiallyavailable or clearly realized. I have thoroughly enjoyedemploying my creativity and hope to share these skills with theStartingBloc community. The final product
WITH MY PROFICIENCY IN ANOTHER LANGUAGEI had the opportunity to learn Spanish duringmiddle school, high school and college.During college, I studied abroad in Costa Ricafor a semester and had one of the mostamazing experiences learning in a newculture. The importance of this skill hasbecome more and more evident since thattime as I have used my Spanish extensivelysince starting medical school. I have the abilityto communicate with individuals andcommunities that I would not have otherwise.This can allow for exposure to ideas from freshsources to contribute to creative problemsolving and provide new perspectives.
WITH MY INTERPERSONAL SKILLS• MATCH Charter Public School Tutor• Nutrition Clinic ManagerIn the positions I have listed above, I have hadthe opportunity to develop my interpersonal skillsthrough working closely with a variety ofindividuals and their unique personalities. I thinkthese are crucial skills when applied to communityand collaboration, which is important for theexecution and success of any innovative projector work. I believe such skills will allow me tothrive in a community of diverse individuals, suchas the one represented by the StartingBloccommunity.
WITH MY INDEPENDENT CRITICAL THINKING• Costa Rican Independent Study Project• Horn Point Laboratory Marine ResearchMy experiences in research and independentprojects have afforded me the opportunity tofurther develop my skills in independent criticalthinking. This was a skill instilled by my motherand rigorously developed at Swarthmore College,a community known for curriculum targeted to thedevelopment of critical thinking. I am comfortableexpressing my own ideas, consideringinformation for myself and drawing conclusionsthat were informed by my own uniqueunderstanding and assessment of my breadth ofknowledge. I think this skill in particular is crucialto being socially innovative and an effectivechange agent.
WITH MY PASSIONPassion is a quality that cannot be artificially created or imitated. It is organicand birthed from a fundamental belief. In my case, that belief is that goodhealth is a right for all people.My passion for preserving and protecting health manifests itself in:• Projects that I am currently heading to implement nutritional classes at UCSD Free Clinic where I serve as the Nutrition Clinic Manager• My desire and effort to maintain an understanding of current research as it applies to health maintenance and effective disease treatment• The use of my creativity and talents to design a blog to educate and inspire others about healthy living and current research• My inability to tire of talking about the impact of lifestyle and behavior on promoting health and preventing disease• My search for communities and experiences that will help me to direct my passion into effective work that will have a lasting and transformative impact on the lives of others.
I HOPE FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS AMAZING COMMUNITY I appreciate a varied approach to problem solving and so I often find myself thinking outside of traditional or conventional frameworks in order to solve problems. I am certain that the skills of leadership, creativity, second-language mastery, interpersonal communication and critical thinking that I have acquired and my own passion have influenced this mindset, which will only be further established by my participation in the 2013 Detroit Institute of Social Innovation. I am certain this opportunity will broaden my perspective of the world and allow me to learn tremendously from a diverse group of innovative, driven and conscious young individuals.