Meet Samik: His data helped a public health agency reach new communities

March 26, 2019

Making a difference starts with a small, humble question: how can I help?  

When Samik asked a local nonprofit how he could help from his position as a student, he got the chance to make an incredible impact with an ACT Fellowship.

A local public health agency happened to be on the verge of a new project and needed to rally support. They also happened to have strong data to start from: a thesis from a previous Master’s student.  

“Someone had walked this path before, and it was really in-depth. That painted a picture for me that I could go as far into this as I wanted. It was encouraging.”

The agency was looking at expanding its services, so Samik dug deeper into neighborhood-level data to help pinpoint the highest need. They used that data to show funders it was the right move.

“I’m a big believer in ‘you can never have too much data.’ Whether it indicates something positive or negative, it can help them tailor their services.”

As a bioscience major, Samik also got to explore entirely new concepts, like socio-economic factors and epidemiology.

“I got to guide it, rather than be directed,” he said. “I was able to choose not just what I wanted to do, but how much I want to do, so I could get the best results for them.”

“The fellowship allows you to do something bigger than yourself, because it’s for others, not for a grade.”