What inspired you to volunteer with GO?
What is your role as a GO volunteer?
GO leadership has allowed me to pursue a number of different projects, based on my interests. I started by working with a few other volunteers at an overnight MIT Global Poverty Hackathon on a cancer resource tool which later developed into the current GO Map. On the side, I spent time working on a few of the first versions of the GO website in addition to helping coordinate a GO Talk where I had the pleasure of working closely with Julie Livingston after she wrote Improvising Medicine: An African Oncology Ward in an Emerging Cancer Epidemic, just months before she received the MacArthur Fellowship "genius grant".
When you’re working on a GO project, what most energizes you and why?
The people I get to work with on GO projects are very inspiring. There seems to be a commonality amongst GO volunteers in that we are all driven by a similar passion to do what's best for communities in need. It's amazing to see the variety of contributions GO volunteers bring to the table, whether it is great skill at programming or in project management. It's humbling for me to be on the same conference calls or at the same meetings with other professionals taking time after, or even during, their day jobs to contribute their minds toward helping others. They have no intent to gain a promotion or an income increase via their contributions to GO.
What do you gain from this experience?
Volunteering with GO has influenced my career path in so many different ways. While studying the burden data we were adding to the GO Map, I became interested in the adversity of healthcare outcomes in limited-resource islands of the Pacific Rim which rely on Hawaii as a tertiary care referral location, leading me to select Honolulu for my residency training. Although I am many time zones away from the hub of GO volunteers in Boston, I still feel very closely connected to the group via technology that has allowed us to be productive in collaborating as a group spanning thousands of miles.
Thank you, Ali, for your incredible service and dedication to GO's mission.