This week we feature Jennifer Smith, one of two phenomenal Data Support Interns for the GONA Research Project. The GONA Research Project, lead by One Fire Associates, is a cross-site evaluation of Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) youth activities that are facilitated by our member clinics.

Read her bio below:

It’s been an honor to support the Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) project as one of CCUIH’s data support interns. While pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies at Mills College in Oakland, I gained exposure to the lasting effects of colonialism and historical trauma on native communities in the class American Indian Women in the U.S.  It’s my privilege to make a contribution towards the healing of this trauma using my data analysis skills.

I have always excelled at analytical thinking; before transferring to Mills College, I completed three years in an Engineering program at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  I transferred despite excelling in my engineering courses because I felt my heart’s purpose lay elsewhere.  While completing my undergraduate education, I began my career in non-profit management at Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute (MCLI), a human rights legal think tank.  As is common among small non-profit organizations, I wore many hats during my tenure as Office Manager at MCLI.  I felt the most competent and engaged when completing technical tasks like teaching myself how to update the website or learning how to write scripts in our FileMaker Pro database.  After serving at MCLI for five years, I decided to continue my education with a graduate degree in statistics.

I am currently pursuing a Masters of Science in statistics at California State University, East Bay, and I am looking for a way to apply my technical skills to make a positive impact on the world.  After graduation, I hope to find a data analysis position supporting work as meaningful as GONA.