My name is Shreya Gharge and I am the Fall 2023 Marketing and Communications Intern of Impact here in New York City. Growing up in Texas, it has been my dream for years to work with the American Heart Association and I am honored to be able to do this through the Interns of Impact program.
This dream was born when my parents and I rushed through Rajiv Gandhi airport in India on some fateful day in 2016. My grandfather was about to undergo heart surgery, which was his second serious heart problem after surviving a heart attack decades prior. For these reasons, I have always had a passion for heart health, as I understand its major implications and value.
My first interaction with the American Heart Association was in 2nd grade when my elementary school took part in the Jump Rope for Heart program. I immediately connected to this mission because of my grandfather’s heart problems. Even as a kid, I was ecstatic at the prospect of raising money for research and promoting the Association’s mission. Since then, I have always sought out avenues and opportunities to help spread awareness about heart health and general well-being.
Now, as a junior at New York University, as I explore the next steps for my career, my heart always brings me back to the American Heart Association. I yearned to be a part of something bigger than myself and this is exactly what I can do in this organization.
It is especially a privilege to work with the New York City Communications team. Even from our first interview, they were extremely supportive and enthusiastic about our mission and values, and those sentiments only inspired me more.
On my first official day as an intern, I was invited to attend a press conference at New York City Hall. When I began to think about this internship, I never imagined how fast I would hit the ground running, but with no hesitation, there I was at City Hall Park, surrounded by elected officials, medical experts, and community leaders as they introduced new legislation. I was out there, in the field, in a way I have never been before.
So, its safe to say, my first day on the job was a whirlwind, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was right away exposed to the incredible impact of the American Heart Association at the press conference introducing a bill that directly addresses a critical health issue that disproportionally affects Black and Brown New Yorkers. This bill, now known as Intro 1202, can have a positive impact on the youngest New Yorkers.
I am extremely excited about my growth and learning in this position. It is hard to believe that I have just started, but for me right now, the sky is the limit. I can’t wait to share more about my time as an Intern of Impact and bring you more information about the Association’s advocacy work and the new children’s meals bill in my next article.