Kendall Crosby: Committed to Health

Growing up with a knack for math and science and a mother working in public health communications, sophomore Kendall Crosby knew since high school she wanted to major in public health.

 

"My senior year of high school, my dad ended up getting really sick,” Crosby explains. “He was in the hospital for months, and months, and months.”

 

Crosby says her father’s illness drove her to pursue a public health career.

 

"I was meeting these premiere epidemiologists and doctors and I was really inspired to go into public health, and ensure that people are living the healthiest life they possibly can and making sure that no one will ever have to go through what my dad and my family went through.”

 

This January, Crosby’s aspirations were only further solidified when she went on a winter term trip to India to complete a practicum.

 

"I’m so happy that I did it because it really took a leap of faith,” says Crosby. “I 100 percent know that this is the field that I should be in.”

 

During Crosby’s month in India, she shadowed and learned from public health professionals and studied the Comprehensive Rural Health Project’s (CRHP) public health model at work in different communities.

 

"We could go into the villages sometimes in the afternoons, and we would go into project villages and non-project villages* and really experience their way of life,” Crosby describes. “We would go into their homes and they would make us tea and we would walk around.”

 

Crosby explains that the class was split into different task groups, and her task group worked primarily with the preschool.

 

"Every single morning we would go into the slums, pick up the children, and bring them to the preschool and we would play with them,” says Crosby. “There was only one preschool teacher for about 65 babies, and it was insane. The teacher, Nina, appreciated all the help she could get, so we would help them throughout the day when we were in between classes.”

While Crosby is grateful she had the experience of seeing public health at work internationally, she isn’t sure she could do it again.

 

"In one word, I can just sum it up as being hard…just the things that we were experiencing there, the stories that you would hear,” Crosby reflects. “It was just truly, truly heartbreaking. Comparing that to how happy they are and how well-off they are working with CRHP was truly inspiring.”

 

Above all, Crosby believes her experiences in India taught her what is important in life.

 

"Put value in things that matter: value in relationships, value in people, value in experiences. Life is too short to care about material things,” advises Crosby. “We really have to focus on relationships with other people, and that to me is the biggest, biggest takeaway.”

 

Looking towards the future, Crosby hopes to work in the United States on community sustainability projects in public health.

 

"I really just want to be able to work with people in a hands on job...I think my job and my passion is with people,” Crosby says. “I just want to help people live the healthiest and happiest life that they possibly can.”

 

*Project villages are villages that have adapted the CRHP public health model and are typically more well-off. Non-project villages don’t have a non-governmental organization (NGO) working with their village.