Berkeley Experience: Kati graduated with honors with a major in peace and conflict studies and a minor in global poverty and practice. During her time at Cal, Kati has developed a passion for public health, especially related to mental health and homelessness. For the past two and a half years she has volunteered with the Suitcase Clinic, a student-run organization that provides holistic health services to people who are homeless and underserved in Berkeley. She served as the Children’s Coordinator and then the Community Resource Advocate in the Women’s Clinic, helping women find the local services they need, such as medical and dental care, optometry, housing, and employment. Kati also worked with the Alternative Breaks program run by the Public Service Center. Her sophomore year she lead a service trip and semester-long course focused on urban health in Los Angeles and then became the Community Partnerships Director for the entire program her junior year. Her senior year she continued working with the Public Service Center by coordinating public service internships both locally and in New Orleans.
Kati is also interested in the movement against human trafficking. She did research with a Berkeley graduate student on services for human trafficking survivors in the United States. This year she worked with the Berkeley Anti-Trafficking Coalition to plan the first Freedom in Action Conference for Bay Area college students, that educated them on human trafficking today and connected them to many organizations in the Bay Area that are working against human trafficking.
Other Service Experience: Through the global poverty minor, she was able to apply her interests in public health to work abroad. She spent a summer working with a sexual health promotion and education program in Cochabamba, Bolivia. From that experience she became interested in the work being done with children that are living and working in the streets and wrote her senior honors thesis about the approaches of 10 different organizations in Cochabamba that work with this population.
Fellowship Goal: Kati wants to learn more about the work being done with homeless youth in the US, and gain more experience working directly with youth to better understand the challenges and policies that inform this work.
Post-fellowship Plans: Kati plans to get her masters in public health and social work, to continue working in community mental health programs especially for young people and people who are homeless. She also hopes to be able to work internationally with homeless youth.
Commitment to Service: “While emotionally challenging, my experiences in public service have deepened my commitment to work in community health, especially with people who are low income and/or marginalized. I want to support the development of future leaders who can build off their own experiences to break the cycles of poverty, violence, and homelessness.”