This week we feature Jennifer Smith, one of two phenomenal Data Support Interns for the GONA Research Project. The GONA Research Project, lead by One Fire Associates, is a cross-site evaluation of Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) youth activities that are facilitated by our member clinics.
Read her bio below:
It’s been an honor to support the Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) project as one of CCUIH’s data support interns. While pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies at Mills College in Oakland, I gained exposure to the lasting effects of colonialism and historical trauma on native communities in the class American Indian Women in the U.S. It’s my privilege to make a contribution towards the healing of this trauma using my data analysis skills.
I have always excelled at analytical thinking; before transferring to Mills College, I completed three years in an Engineering program at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. I transferred despite excelling in my engineering courses because I felt my heart’s purpose lay elsewhere. While completing my undergraduate education, I began my career in non-profit management at Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute (MCLI), a human rights legal think tank. As is common among small non-profit organizations, I wore many hats during my tenure as Office Manager at MCLI. I felt the most competent and engaged when completing technical tasks like teaching myself how to update the website or learning how to write scripts in our FileMaker Pro database. After serving at MCLI for five years, I decided to continue my education with a graduate degree in statistics.
I am currently pursuing a Masters of Science in statistics at California State University, East Bay, and I am looking for a way to apply my technical skills to make a positive impact on the world. After graduation, I hope to find a data analysis position supporting work as meaningful as GONA.
This week we feature Carolyn Kraus, our Data Analyst Intern for the GONA Research Project. The GONA Research Project, lead by One Fire Associates, is a cross-site evaluation of Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) youth activities that are facilitated by our member clinics.
Carolyn is completing a longitudinal analysis on the effectiveness of the GONA. The GONA intervention was designed by Native American social workers and mental health care providers at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to build self-efficacy, prevent suicide as well as substance abuse, and cultural awareness in indigenous communities. The GONA focuses on four major themes: belonging, interdependence, generosity, and mastery.
Carolyn is a mixed heritage Anishinaabekwe (Sault Ste. Marie Ojibwe) who grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and rural Michigan. She moved to California in 2003 to attend Mills College, where she studied Ethnic Studies. She is committed to transformative social justice including racial justice, indigenous liberation, and health/healing justice. In her various community roles she has been a protest organizer, peer counselor, and traditional drummer.
After graduating from Mills College in 2008, Carolyn became the Assistant Director of Native American AIDS Project in San Francisco and later served on the Board of Directors. In 2013 and 2014 Carolyn continued her work in healthcare as the Program Coordinator for the Women’s HIV Program at UCSF, where she honed her grant writing skills and developed an interest in research related to trauma in communities of color. Carolyn is a medical student in the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program. She plans to work as a primary care physician and clinical researcher in partnership with Native American communities in California.