Class of 2020
Major: Human and Organizational Development; Medicine, Health and Society
Olivia Arnold is a junior double majoring in Human and Organizational Development and Medicine, Health and Society with a minor in Special Education. Olivia’s unique curricular pursuits have shaped her internship experience with GoCheck Kids. Initially, Olivia worked with the organization locally in Nashville, assisting with research projects and analytics prior to traveling to Mumbai to implement the GoCheck Kids app into community screening programs within Mumbai’s neighborhoods and municipal schools.
As a first year student, Olivia was invited to participate in Peabody Scholars, an honors program open to select Peabody Students. Through this program, Olivia had the opportunity to participate in a fully funded two-week immersive experience the summer before her junior year, incorporating service learning with the ability to work with a local business. Another student in her cohort introduced her to GoCheck Kids and upon learning more about this organization, Olivia knew it was the one for her.
GoCheck Kids is a for-profit organization that designed an app to detect risk factors for amblyopia, or lazy eye, in young children through photo-screening. Without this new screening app, this condition would have gone undetected in the children for many years as they were too young for typical screening. While the app is utilized by physicians across the United States, Olivia wanted to see the potential the app had to address public health concerns abroad so she arranged a trip to Mumbai, India to see this app in action. While in India, Olivia worked with a hospital that was working on implementation trials for GoCheck Kids. She developed a “data analysis program that mapped out the screening rates of children with this app, how many kids they could screen in a day and how cost-effective it was compared to their old system”. Olivia experienced the culture of Mumbai and witnessed first-hand how this app helped improve the lives of low-income children through early intervention and treatment. The community screening program using GoCheck Kids is projected to allow 2,000 kids to be screened per month with a reduction in the cost per screen, as compared to 250 kids in the current screening program.
While working hard with GoCheck Kids, Olivia also got to experience the city of Mumbai. Her favorite part of her experience was being immersed in the culture, especially the food. One thing she found most challenging to overcome was “the differences in customs and how patriarchal the general society was”. She hopes that her experience in Mumbai allows for GoCheck Kids to grow even larger and get the funding needed to continue to provide care to as many children across the globe as possible.
Olivia’s experiences do not end in Mumbai. After returning from India, Olivia continues to work as an intern for GoCheck Kids while completing her school work, helping them to extend their reach to as many children as possible. Her experience showed her the crossover that exists between non-profit and for-profit companies and gave her a more positive outlook on the business side of care. She is also currently involved in Students Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations, a student organization that consults for local non-profits in Nashville and is specifically working on a collective impact initiative.
Oliva’s experience with GoCheck Kids in India is very similar to other immersive summer experiences Peabody Scholars experience as many students design their own internships or service abroad, while others travel with Office of Active Citizenship and Service (OACS) on global trips to serve communities in South Africa, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Ecuador. She is grateful to Peabody Scholars for the experiences it has given her to travel abroad, but also in providing her with lifelong networking skills and contacts, and she advises people to take advantage of this fantastic program. For those looking to get involved in internship opportunities, Oliva recommends “looking at an organization for more than just the business side of things. Consider the team of people that you’ll be working with and who will be mentoring you as it’s more important to find a company that fits your goals and beliefs rather than just a big-name opportunity”.