Hello! I’m Myra from Dallas, Texas, and this past summer I was the advocacy intern for the Southwest Affiliate.
As a public health major at the University of Texas at Austin, I was thrilled to be a part of an organization that has advocated for heart health for almost a century. When I first came to the AHA, the first question that they asked me was “why?”, and my why is my family.
All four of my grandparents died prematurely of heart disease or strokes. In fact, people from South Asia, where my family is from, are four times more likely to have a heart attack before age 50. Heart disease has always been a part of my family’s reality, so I was very excited to be able to intern at an organization that is committed to heart health.
As an intern, my jobs varied day to day based on what the advocacy department needed me to do. This meant that one day I could be analyzing spreadsheets, and the next day I would be talking to local city workers about the benefits of healthy foods. Every day was a new adventure, but it felt great to know that no matter the task I was helping to spread the AHA’s mission.
Now that my internship is over, I am back on campus to start my senior year of college. I’m also excited to continue to volunteer at the AHA as a member of the Grassroots Action Team or “GAT”. The GAT is a group of volunteers who use their passion for heart health to advocate for laws and policies that aim to build healthier communities. Members do this through contacting legislators, and continuing to share their story.
I will also be walking in the Austin Heart Walk on October 21st, as part of the team Pkaye’s Passion. Pkaye Washington was one of our amazing advocates in Texas, who sadly passed away a few months ago. I remember meeting Pkaye at city hall and was in awe of her joy for life, and her passion for heart health. I am honored to be able to walk in this year’s heart walk in her memory.
I’m so thankful for my time at the AHA this summer, and I can’t wait to continue to be a heart advocate! Click here to join me as a You're the Cure advocate!