Arielle Shiver had plans to go to medical school when she decided to change course.
“I was the most stressed I had ever been in my life. I started having health problems and I didn’t have insurance and I realized I just wasn’t very happy,” she said.
Shiver eventually moved back to Atlanta and found a job with Planned Parenthood, working in a call center and speaking with men and women from across Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi about a range of sexual and reproductive health issues.
Her experience at Planned Parenthood sparked Shiver’s desire to pursue a graduate degree in public health.
“It was eye-opening to see how lack of resources, education and policy directly affect people’s health,” she said. “Our conversations would have multiples steps—I’d first have to identify what the patient needed and then help them articulate what it was they needed. A lot of times, I was correcting misinformation and providing them with the right information, and last I would let them know what services we had to offer or help them connect to services.”
Shiver said she’s particularly passionate about preventing sexual violence.
“A lot of patients I’d talk to are victims of intimate partner violence or general sexual violence,” she said.
During her graduate studies, Shiver was able to work on a rape prevention and education project at the Division of Violence Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s been a long journey,” she said, but her experiences inspired her to look for opportunities to continue working in sexual violence prevention.
Check out some of our other Fall 2017 grads: