More intern reports on the way. The Foundation has now supported 37 interns, providing them with valuable work experience that has proven to help them find a job upon graduation. The intern program has taken on even more importance following the Heinz Foundation’s withdrawal of its funding; Alex’s Foundation is now the sole provider.  This latest report comes from Rikki Li, who worked with Abbey Epstein’s BOBB Film Production company. Her report is especially poignant to us:
“Contrary to my expectations, I found myself having a “eureka!” moment early on in my internship with BOBB Films that changed the way I viewed my grant from the Rowan Foundation. Though the foundation had been a steady, positive presence throughout my entire undergraduate career, it was always just enough beneath the surface that I didn’t give it much critical thought. I knew the foundation sponsored our annual Rowan Festival writing contest and helped to fund English majors in otherwise low-paying internships, both of which directly helped to enrich and benefit my experience as a Pitt student. However, most, if not all, of my understanding of the foundation remained void of emotional connection.
I approached the beginning of my internship with BOBB Films with a similar clinical mindset. Most of my work centered around transcribing interviews for the company’s upcoming film on hormonal birth control, and I spent my first few weeks transcribing stories much like a machine. My focus was on completing an assignment as accurately as possible, rather than truly digesting the stories being told. However, I was eventually given an interview with David Rowan himself, where I suddenly realized that I was holding the origin story of my internship grant between my hands. For the first time, I focused more on the content of the interview than just trying to type all the words being said. There was so much I hadn’t known: how Alexandra Rowan had died, too soon, at the hands of a greedy medical industry. How there were many women just like her, whose deaths were hidden behind statistics the same way you could sweep dust under a rug. How big Pharma treated women’s health like an experiment rather than a priority.
After transcribing David Rowan’s interview, I went back to review the other interviews I had already finished, this time as a careful listener. I maintained this mindset with every other interview thereafter. Looking back, I want to thank the Rowan Foundation for not only affording me the opportunity to work with these important stories, but also for equipping me with the knowledge that’ll help me make smarter decisions regarding my own health in the future. In the end, this internship gave me so much more than just something to put on my resume—it also gave me perspective.”
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