Intern Spotlight: Maree Iboaya

Maree Iboaya is an18-year-old Nigerian-American from Findlay, Ohio and a second-year Medical Sciences major at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, pursuing a minor in Biomedical Computing and Electronics and a certificate in Minority Health. She has a passion for medicine and looks forward to a career as a cardiothoracic surgeon, dismantling the racial health disparities that exist in the healthcare industry. In her free time, Maree loves to cook, dance, and travel with friends and family.

Why did you apply to On Earth Peace? What drew you to the organization?

My relationship with OEP started almost 4 years ago when some of my friends and I were awarded a Community Engagement Grants. OEP gave us the courage, support, and education we needed to target the lack of inclusion and equity in our community. As a result, we were able to create a program called the Borderless Relations Committee, dedicated to teaching children about the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Knowing how deeply OEP affects the communities it supports, I applied for an internship position almost 3 years later, and I have been grateful to work with them ever since.

What are your favorite projects that you’ve worked on?

One of my favorite projects I have worked on was speaking at a gun violence prevention seminar where we were able to connect with individuals across the country, interested in learning what they can do to help with GVP efforts. There, I was able to use my knowledge as OEP's Racial Justice Organizer to teach the importance of viewing world issues like gun violence through a "racial justice" lens. I explained the racial and historical context needed to understand how racism and gun violence are intertwined issues, plaguing communities around the world. This was one of my favorite projects because I was able to put my training to use in a tangible way and  impact the lives of those who wanted and needed to hear it. 

How has OEP affected your future aspirations?

Through the racial justice methods and Kingian Non-violence principles I have acquired through my work with OEP, I have gained a multitude of knowledge needed to dismantle the racial inequities in my career field. Being such a huge, profit-driven industry, the medical field is riddled with disparities. From racial and socioeconomic disparities to gendered or non-able-bodied injustices, it must become the mission of every provider to do their part in addressing these issues. With the help of OEP, that mission has become increasingly clear to me. 

What would you like people to know about OEP and yourself?

I would like people to know that OEP is truly an organization with a genuine desire to help all who need it. OEP does not let a community's origins, beliefs, or practices ever stop them from offering support, guidance, and, most importantly, kindness. Becoming a part of the OEP family has given me the gift of experiencing these things first hand. I just hope that more good-hearted people can be inspired by our mission and hope to join our family. 

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