Meet the 2021 interns: Madison Langrin

Author: Madison Langrin

I figured out relatively early on that the female experience was deeply interesting to me. Attending an all-girls high school likely played a large role in this realization, as here women were clearly the focus of everything from the novels we read to the sports teams and even in theater where girls often took on the traditionally male roles in the shows. Throughout the four years I spent at my high school, I gained an unrivaled sense of pride in my identity as a woman that has and continues to shape my experiences heavily.

During high school summers I worked as a counselor at a Girl Scout camp where our motto was “challenge by choice,” our way of encouraging the girls to be ambitious and also know that they are in control of what that means. Easily the best part of each week would be seeing a camper progress to new swim band levels, take the lead on an activity, or push themselves on the challenge course. Working with them each day I was reminded of and energized by their grit and their ability to dream big. These experiences then brought me to the YesSheCanCampaign, a non-profit dedicated to the empowerment of young women who are completing their studies, where I volunteered as an intern. It was my first time being connected to a network that centered diverse and underrepresented student experiences like my own and went the extra step of creating resources and spaces for these women to thrive. As I reflected upon why the work of these organizations managed to have such a profound effect on me, the common denominator was their focus on serving women – a realization which has motivated my professional aspirations in women’s health.

Public health first entered my line of sight as I was applying to colleges. Growing up my family had always been medically inclined, with multiple relatives being nurses or doctors. And so, I was well-acquainted with the concept of treatment in health – much more so than prevention. The first time I heard a distinctive conversation around prevention was in my introductory public health course. To me, learning that prevention was not limited to actual toxins but that they also could present in our social and built environments further cemented the importance of my time with the Girl Scouts and the YesSheCanCampaign. The professor for the course explained to us at the start that the work of public health often goes unnoticed and underappreciated because of its nature. She unknowingly answered my question of why I was only now learning about public health and spurred my continued interest in the discipline.

Now as a rising senior studying public health at Johns Hopkins University, I have had the chance to explore and confirm my passion for the field and even find opportunities to link this passion with my commitment to women’s stories and experiences – one of these opportunities being here at CAMI Health. Coming across the Summer Intern position with CAMI felt distinctly aligned with my own passion for women’s health. The Initiative for Multipurpose Prevention Technologies particularly was the perfect niche to connect my driving enthusiasm for women’s empowerment with my regard for preventative care and innovation.

As I watched the opening video “MPTs for a Better World” on the IMPT website, I saw the natural ties to my previous work. That sexual and reproductive autonomy are essential to a woman’s self-determination, including her educational and professional ambitions, as well as to the outcomes of children and families. Perhaps the most compelling part of CAMI’s role with the IMPT for me is the effort and success in making the complex product development process feel accessible and personal for all the stakeholders by bridging the gap between humanity and science. The IMPT is simultaneously reconciling the voices, needs, and concerns of women with the product research and development process to create MPTs that truly serve the diverse global community of women.

It is because this work is so crucial that I am thrilled to be joining the CAMI Health team as an intern this summer. Increasing the awareness of and support for MPTs through social media and outreach is essential to the success of MPT development. Toward this goal, the MPT Mini Video Series and social media platforms are two areas I’m excited to further develop and expand. Through these projects, I’m most looking forward to centering the stories and needs of women and getting young people invested in the work CAMI Health and the IMPT have been championing for over a decade.