Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Margeaux Berroth and I am a rising senior concentrating in Human Biology with a focus on Human Health & Disease at Brown University. Bear with me, this is my very first time writing a blog but I am excited to share my summer experiences with you while working abroad. This blog, through the Watson Institute, will be used for communicating my work, updating my experiences, and conveying my observations while interning and researching in Palawan, in the Philippines. While here, I will be working for a non-profit, Roots of Health, in conjunction with Palawan State University. The Jack Ringer Fellowship, through the Watson Institute at Brown, was awarded to me to fund this experience and I am so thankful to have received it. Roots of Health is a non-profit organization working to increase the overall health of females in Palawan, with an emphasis on reproductive health and the improved nutrition of women and their children. Roots of Health has targeted one of the most challenged communities in Palawan and is seeking inroads to work closely with women in the community to educate them on family planning techniques, provide for effective pre-natal, post-natal and childhood nutrition, and create avenues whereby women can access free or low priced maternal healthcare and contraceptives. By doing so, Roots of Health believes they can begin to empower women and girls to secure their right to health and independence, and to support and protect the health and well-being of their children. My work here in Palawan includes assisting Roots of Health with various programmatic and administrative tasks including conducting outreach work at various program sites, assisting with the nutritional support program, writing grant applications and maintaining an active ROH presence by contributing to the ROH blog and assisting with media work. Palawan State University has a high drop-out rate among female attendees, primarily attributable to unplanned pregnancies. While in Palawan, I plan to better understand the factors that contribute to this trend by conducting a research project focused on the health, health desires and health behaviors of PSU students while assisting with health information and education dissemination among PSU students. Through one-on-one interviews, surveys, focus group discussions and group interviews, my research will delve into the health situation of students at Palawan State University, looking specifically at determinants particular to reproductive health, sexuality, access to and possible barriers to care, and the role that poverty may play in the health life cycle. It is my hope that through research, I will be able to develop a successful action plan to be implemented by Roots of Health for the students at Palawan State University and the surrounding community. Working with Roots of Health, made possible by the funding from Brown University, will provide me the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the inner functioning of a non-profit. I will be able to learn about the cultural factors of health and health behaviors in the Philippines in particular, while I further refine and formalize my research skills. Thank you for reading. More to come soon!