While pursuing her MPH from the Colorado School of Public Health: University of Colorado, Ms. Pensack-Rinehart served as a volunteer in the Peace Corps and lived for two years in a rural Ethiopian village of Mezezo.
While conducting a community needs assessment, she noticed a need for female education and empowerment, along with various public health infrastructure that needed improvements. With funding from a Let Girls Learn grant, a team from the Peace Corps and her MPH courses at Colorado, Pensack-Rinehart established a sect of Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) focused on teens from 10 different rural villages, ages 14-18.
[Photo: Ms. Pensack-Rinehart established a sect of Camp GLOW in Mezzo, Ethiopia]
Some of the projects she assisted with include instructing HIV/AIDS education to secondary school students through a grassroots soccer program, leading a menstrual health training for students in rural Ethiopia, co-leading a gender equality club for secondary school students, acting as a community mobilizer to increase sanitation infrastructure at a rural health center, and co-facilitating a nutrition class for pregnant women and women with young children.
“My education at Colorado greatly helped me to prepare for this project and for international work, because it provided me with the core knowledge of public health as a discipline, and this information was the base for my work,” Ms. Pensack-Rinehart said. “One of the students who came from my village had never been outside of Mezezo before, so it was a very exciting opportunity for her to be able to attend the camp.”