Hi everyone! My name is Jordain Thompson and I had the unique opportunity of being a spring intern on the partnerships team this year. Each intern at Made to Save has the chance to create an intern project in which they have creative control. I knew I wanted to do something that highlighted people who’ve played a significant role in serving communities during the challenging times throughout the pandemic. So, I decided to create a four-part interview series, with each episode highlighting a person in a different profession speaking about how they’ve served the community through their careers.
Episode 1 Being a nurse during the pandemic
In early 2020, while many people were staying home from work as the pandemic unfolded, Alexis Lespinasse was beginning her career as a nurse during one of the most challenging times for healthcare workers. I spoke with Alexis about her experience starting her career at the height of the pandemic — issues such as the pandemic’s strain on hospitals and the contrast between working in healthcare before and after the COVID-19 vaccine became widely available. We also discussed the challenges of being an African American woman in healthcare and the importance of prioritizing mental health while working in stressful environments.
Episode 2 Working in higher education during a pandemic
As a graduating college student, I know firsthand how much the pandemic affected the education system across the country. For this episode, I interviewed faculty from my home institution, Oakwood University, and spoke with them about the challenges of working in higher education during the pandemic. In addition, I interviewed two guests: Raymond King, the Student Activities Director, and English professor and author Paul Nixon. During these conversations, we spoke on the importance of being adaptive throughout the challenges presented by the pandemic, how faculty restructured the education experience to accommodate students, and how the COVID-19 vaccines, access to testing, and safety protocols helped keep the university’s doors open throughout the past year and a half.
Episode 3 Serving in the Military during the pandemic
For this episode I had the pleasure of speaking with one of the heroes of our United States Air Force. During this conversation with Sergeant Daniel Thompson, we talked about his experience being stationed overseas in multiple countries during the pandemic, his experience with the vaccine, and how the pandemic required him to be adaptive in his role in the armed forces.
Episode 4 Running a Community Health Organization during the pandemic
Made to Save’s partnerships are crucial to both our success and impact. Thus, to honor our partners, it was only fitting that I wrapped up my project with one of the community-based organizations we have worked with over the course of the campaign. Dr. Tom Ellison is the founder and Director of Project Help USA, an organization based out of Birmingham, AL, that provides health services to underserved communities worldwide. During our conversation, Dr. Ellison spoke about how he came to start the organization, the great work they’ve accomplished throughout the pandemic response, and the importance of diversity and inclusion in the healthcare system.