Hello! I am Judy Choi, a rising junior majoring in Biology. After graduation, I hope to attend dental school. This summer, I’ll be working at the Naandi Foundation of India, where the headquarter is based in Hyderabad, Telangana. Naandi is a social sector organization focused on advancing the socio-economic standings of underprivileged populations. The foundation launches projects to promote better health needs, children’s education, and sustainable livelihoods.
One of the projects that I’m working on is its coffee project. Naandi’s coffee project helps farmers in Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh, enhance their qualities of life by educating them with knowledge on Biodynamic coffee crop growing and harvesting. The project directly increases their income, makes use of the arable land in the Eastern Ghats, and stabilize the coffee industry’s self-sustainability. Naandi does all of this by educating the farmers about the best farming and harvesting methods, management techniques, and the global coffee industry.
As an intern at Naandi, I will be working on increasing awareness of the coffee farmer project to the general public and to coffee consumers. I’ll be creating journalistic content accompanied with photographs and video clips in order to develop stories of the coffee farmers from various fields and sites.
What this means: I’ll be spending about four to five weeks in rural India observing coffee farmers and their families!
What you’re wondering: What does coffee have to do with being pre-dental? (Other than keeping you awake and caffeinated through school)
Although my project might not seem to align completely with my professional aspirations, it does relate to my Biology major: agriculture is an application of biological research and earth sciences. Moreover, the aspect of my internship that requires me to communicate with people who speak Telugu, Oriya, and no English, and create a presentable and compelling story about them will shape me into a more culturally aware individual. I believe that interacting with the locals — interviewing and capturing their daily lives — would allow me to break the linguistic and cultural barriers between us. Ultimately, I hope it will mold me into someone who recognizes that culture is a multifaceted variable including economic, religious, psychological, and biological conditions and who can work around those variables by communicating effectively with people with different cultures.