Coding for health equity

Selecting a significant was a protracted course of for Mercy Oladipo. Coming into MIT, she was considering each pc science and medication, however a plan for the way these passions would intersect took a while to coalesce.

Oladipo lastly settled on a joint main in pc science and molecular biology, which allowed her to dive into pc science and in addition fulfill her pre-med class necessities.

At face worth, the courses in her two majors “are very far-removed,” says Oladipo. “You don’t actually contact any interplay till your junior or senior 12 months, however it helped me really feel like I may do no matter I would like and chart my very own path.”

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Now a senior, Oladipo has pursued a spread of alternatives that permit her to use her coding expertise to construct instruments for well being care, with help from MIT’s PKG Heart. These embrace exploring well being disparities in end-of-life care with the Medical Resolution-Making Group in MIT’s Laptop Science and Synthetic Intelligence Laboratory, revamping the webpage for the Boston Medical Heart’s Autism Pleasant Initiative, and creating web sites for research run by Tufts College’s Maternal Outcomes for Translational Well being Fairness Analysis (M.O.T.H.E.R.) Lab.

For Oladipo, the through-line amongst her pursuits has at all times been fairness, whether or not in well being care or in training.

An app for Black moms

All the pieces got here collectively when Oladipo participated as a sophomore in Womxn Ignite, a tech incubator for ladies considering public curiosity expertise. It was there that she first had the concept for Delivery By Us, a startup she co-founded with Ijeoma Uche, a second-year grasp’s pupil on the College of California at Berkeley.

Birth By Us is a being pregnant and postpartum app constructed by and for Black girls. The aim is to be a centralized supply of knowledge all through your entire beginning expertise, from prenatal appointments to postpartum restoration. Each day, customers fill out a questionnaire to display for signs which can be usually ignored, and might be supplied with assets tailor-made to their private expertise. With Delivery By Us, Oladipo hopes to handle the racial disparity in maternal deaths whereas additionally forging stronger connections between group applications and Black moms.

Now a senior, Oladipo nonetheless sees many paths forward of her following commencement. Over the following few years, she plans to maintain engaged on and scaling Delivery By Us. She’d additionally wish to attend medical college and pursue maternal well being analysis in different contexts.

“All the pieces could be very intertwined,” Oladipo says when requested about what comes subsequent. “It’s all the identical matter in numerous fonts.”

Oladipo additionally says she isn’t harassed in regards to the uncertainty in her future. She credit that consolation to the help she receives from her household and her religion. Oladipo is grateful for her household’s presence in her life, whether or not that’s within the type of recommendation from her mother and father and two older siblings or day by day calls from her youthful brother.

A lifelong love of language studying

This 12 months, Oladipo spent Impartial Actions Interval in Aguascalientes, Mexico, instructing center schoolers by way of the MIT Worldwide Science and Expertise Initiatives’ Global Teaching Labs program. Together with two different MIT college students, they tackled coding and constructing lava lamps, and ended this system by constructing a Rube Goldberg machine in collaboration with Panamerican College.

To use for this system, Oladipo wanted to have the ability to communicate Spanish, a requirement she simply cleared from learning the language since highschool. There have been two the explanation why she had picked it up. The primary was that almost all of her buddies additionally spoke Spanish and she or he wished to have the ability to converse with them of their native language.

“My greatest pal in seventh grade didn’t have a cellphone, so we’d at all times electronic mail backwards and forwards within the mornings,” says Oladipo. “I might attempt to observe my Spanish with him. I look again and the grammar will not be there, the spelling is all off, however it was cute.”

The second purpose was that she had studied Latin since second grade and located herself questioning what got here subsequent after finishing AP Latin.

“Everybody used to inform me it’s a useless language, however I believed it was so cool,” says Oladipo. She provides that she was “such a nerd again then” for having fun with the nuances of the language, such because the inflexible grammatical construction and the way English derivatives got here to be.

Oladipo didn’t plan on taking Portuguese in faculty — she had initially meant on including Yoruba to her arsenal however couldn’t work it into her schedule — however determined to take it when it match her schedule. Now, she’s eyeing a possible Fulbright in São Paolo and has plans to see extra of Latin America following commencement.

For now, Oladipo is specializing in ending up her faculty profession. In between managing her firm and balancing her classwork, she’s additionally a member of the cheerleading workforce. And, she’s presently the president of the Xi Tau Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. the place she helps plan public service occasions and different applications all year long.

There’s quite a bit on her plate, and Oladipo acknowledges that. However she’s additionally trying ahead to what comes after commencement.

“I’m a little bit of a workaholic, however I’m excited to be extra finished and concentrate on what I truly need to put my time towards,” she says.


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