Beyond the Brochure


Hi there! My name is Sydney — student, bookworm, lover of puns, hot chocolate enthusiast. Did you know you can buy hot chocolate that comes with a second package of marshmallows? It’s called “Marshmallow Lovers.” You’re welcome.

I originally found my way to Planned Parenthood by accident; before beginning my second internship, I was required to attend a “field fair,” where students who were fairly convinced they knew where they wanted to intern were encouraged to talk to as many professionals in the room as they could. It was almost like playing musical chairs.

Most students gravitated towards the organizations they were interested in. Many hovered around the snack table. Some of us bounced around from table to table, looking for the most interesting pens and stress balls we could have after an informative chat.

On a whim, I wandered to the table marked Planned Parenthood, and found myself genuinely curious. Introductions were shared, and I ended up explaining my passion for storytelling, and how doing so has the power to address and heal trauma. To my surprise, I learned that the organization had already touched upon the idea of a public narrative.

Through a friendly conversation, I was reminded of many things. I thought back to how much of my formal health education came from a stuffy classroom and a gym teacher, a questionable character who encouraged students who would say anything to distract from the topic at hand. I remembered my first relationship, and how I could have been speaking a different language for how much we actually communicated. I wondered why society says men shouldn’t cry, pays women less, and suggests that if you don’t fit into a binary, you don’t belong.

I also took note of the two awesome individuals who had taken time out of their day to help educate a bunch of mildly exhausted and only somewhat-thoughtful graduate students.

I wanted to be one of those people! Wouldn’t it be cool if I could do so in such a way that allowed people to learn on their own time, comfortably, whenever and wherever they needed it?

It would be so cool.

Now, I’m interning with Planned Parenthood and trying to wrap my head around the many opportunities that have come my way. One of which is the chance to share important information in a way that is easy to access, easy to understand, and enjoyable to read. All of this, while remaining connected to readers. To ask questions, share your story or follow along with “Beyond the Brochure,” and watch out for #BTB! -Sydney

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