Rena Greifinger is the Senior Project Lead on MaverickNext and advises on Population Services International’s (PSI) global youth strategy. Over the last five years as Youth & Girls Advisor, Rena helped establish PSI as a technical expert and thought-leader in private sector approaches to improving sexual and reproductive health systems for adolescents and young people. She spearheaded the organization’s work in design-thinking, playing a lead role in its flagship project Adolescents 360. Rena has published and presented extensively on adolescent health globally. In 2009, she published a World Health Organization report on the psychosocial needs of adolescents living with HIV, inspiring her to start an award-winning program that builds leadership, life-skills and mentoring support for young people living with HIV in the U.S. She has served as Chair of the Youth, Health and Rights Coalition and the Coalition for Adolescent Girls, and currently sits on the board of Next Step. Rena holds a Master’s of Science from the Harvard School of Public Health where she was presented the Albert Schweitzer award which is given to the graduating students whose past work and current activities have been marked by a “reverence for life.”  If you’re interested in public health or international development or just how to be a maverick in your life press play and enjoy!

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT IN THIS EPISODE: 

  • How to build a philanthropic program from scratch
  • What MaverickNext is and how Rena is learning on the job
  • Why working for a small community-based NGO (nonprofit) is a great way to really learn and get more responsibilities
  • How to become a better networker even if you’re an introvert
  • Whether you should work domestically or internationally for a nonprofit
  • Why you should go abroad and live in another culture while you’re in school or after you graduate
  • Why you should work in the real world for a couple years, at least, before you decide to pursue a Master’s Degree
  • How to become an activist on and off your campus

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