Onie Leaves Community Healthier After Years of Service

Rebecca D. Onie '97 never did community service during high school.

But at Harvard, she helped turn her brainchild, Project HEALTH, from a pet project into a campus public service organization mainstay.

Finally, after three years of guiding the program after graduation and deferring future plans, she is leaving.

The legacy she says she hoped she has left is that undergraduates can do serious work with significant community impact without an advanced degree from medical or law school.

"We sometimes think that the real work begins when we get our J.D. or M.D, but with guidance from people in the field and our willingness to grapple with important issues, we can do real, important work now," she says.

And while the Straus Hall proctor will not go far next year---she will pursue her J.D. at Harvard Law School (HLS)--she has left a solid foundation of leadership for the program.

Health Beyond the Ivory Tower

Onie founded Project HEALTH--Helping Advocate and Learn Through Health--in 1996. It is a cluster of volunteer programs designed to combat the link between low income and poor pediatric health through community-based and clinic-based programs at the Boston Medical Center.