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Shay Lahon DS '14

Where do you live?
While I still live in East Greenbush, I am currently studying in Accra, Ghana until I return to finish my senior year at Mount Holyoke in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

Tell us about your current work and what you love about it.
I am been interning at the West Africa AIDS Foundation (WAAF) since January. I am conducting HIV/AIDS research to compare  the prevalence & incidence of HIV/AIDS in black communities in the United States versus Ghana, The major factors are the lack of access to treatment, lack of education about HIV/AIDS, and the negative impact of poverty. Another part of my research looks at HIV/AIDS transmission between pregnant mothers and the fetus. My research will help to identify better treatment for women and their children.

I have been appointed as the Public Relations Officer for an organization called TP Women International. The organization promotes gender equality or equality between men and women, through education.

I think what I love most about working for both organizations is meeting so many wonderful people. The Ghanaian community is very kind-hearted and welcoming. It makes me happy to know that what I am doing is bettering the life of someone else.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’re conquering at the moment?
Senior year is approaching next year. Now is the time to start prepping for nursing school admissions, GREs, and honestly….life in general…deciding on where to live, what kind of job I want, which kind of people I want in my life, etc.

What’s one of the funniest stories you remember from your time at DS?
Just being in Mr. Febrey’s class!  I had the wonderful opportunity of growing up with Mr. Febrey as a Spanish teacher from 7th grade to 12th grade. I knew that as soon as I entered Mr. Febrey’s class that I’d be leaving with a smile on my face I remember when Mr. Febrey had us watch both Shrek and Ghostbusters and interpret them in Spanish. Mr. Febrey  always made class interesting and fun. To me, Mr. Febrey wasn’t just a Spanish teacher….or comedian (lol)….but he was a mentor. This man brought so much happiness, joy…and in many ways guidance into my life at DS. His presence is greatly missed. I will forever cherish the memories I have of him.

What is making you feel grateful today?
The love and support provided by so many friends and family; especially at this time in my life. My friends at Mount Holyoke have provided me with so much love and guidance. So many of them have pushed or driven me to become a better person. Without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today.