Looking back at my academic and career trajectory, it would not have been possible without my affiliation with the Colin Powell Center. My internship at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which led to my full time employment there after graduation, was largely due to the service-learning requirements at the Colin Powell Center. The idea of linking students with a domestic or international organization engaged in work around a student’s area of interest to provide real world experience is innovative and immensely rewarding to those who participate. My time at the CFR allowed me not only to grow my professional network, but to learn and discover new approaches to solving global issues, including global public health, a field in which I currently work.
After almost two years at the CFR in New York, first as an intern for the Africa program, and later as an interdepartmental program associate, I started work at IntraHealth International in 2012. I work in program development, where I help prepare grant proposals to various donors including the US government, corporations, foundations, and global health organizations.
Working for Africa
While I do not work on the ground, so to speak, I am proud of my role in supporting IntraHealth’s work around the world, especially in Africa, where it has been involved for over 30 years. Working for an organization that contributes to Africa’s overall development through strengthening health workers and health systems, utilizing technology to build local capacity, and mobilizing local talent for sustainable and accessible health care, mirrors my lifelong commitment to improving the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
When I left the shores of Sierra Leone almost a decade ago amidst the smoldering ruins of war, I was not really sure of what the future had in store for me, nor the friends I would cross paths with on a journey to a foreign country I hardly knew. Fast forward to 2012, I feel not only a sense of accomplishment every time I think about how far I have come, but also a deeper appreciation for all the good folks at City College who prepared me to face the challenges of the real world. Today, I can say without doubt that I am well on my way on a journey to fulfill a lifelong commitment to confronting the many developmental challenges of Africa. – Mohamed Jallow
Mohamed Jallow is a former Colin Powell fellow (2008/2009), and is currently a Program Development Specialist at IntraHealth International, an organization that empowers health workers to better serve communities in need around the world. Read more about him and our other writers here.