If you’re a regular reader of the Feronia Project, chances are that you’re interested in issues of sexual health. But here’s a question for you: how did you come to be interested in the movement of sexual health, reproductive justice, and equitable health care? And how can you use your story of self to bring people into the movement as well?
This is just one of the things that you’ll learn at the Youth Organizing and Policy Institute. Are you 18-24 and interested in this work? Join the YOPI closest to you this summer – find out more here.
I was lucky enough to go through YOPI training this summer, and learned that nothing is as important as sharing your story. So, I’ll share my story if you’ll share yours:
When I was 13 years old, I stood in the dark in my childhood bedroom, holding the phone. On the other end, my 41-year-old father was telling me that he had just been diagnosed with lung cancer. Every parent deserves the opportunity to watch their child grow up – and during his two-year battle with the disease, he and his health care company underwent every treatment possible to have that happen. Because he was insured, he was given every opportunity to try.
Ten years later, I decided to move to the United Kingdom to get my master’s degree. I spent a few years there and decided that while the United Kingdom was lovely, there was no place like home. In 2009, I moved back to the United States and got a job – but didn’t have health insurance and couldn’t afford it. I was too rich for Medicaid and too poor to afford a monthly insurance premium, so where did I go in my time of need? Where did I go to get my yearly checkups? Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood helped me when I needed it, and the compassionate care of the staff at the health center remains one of my best health care experiences. While I now am fully covered by health care, I still go to Planned Parenthood for my checkups. Those patients in the waiting room, waiting for their care? It wasn’t too long ago that I was one of them, waiting and wondering when I could afford to get health care in case, God forbid, something catastrophic happened to me – like I, and many others, know all too well.
That’s why this movement is important to me. That’s my story of why I do what I do every day.
What’s your story? Why did you get involved in reproductive justice and equitable health care – and why is it important to you? Would you like to use your story to build a movement? Join your nearest YOPI.