Faraaz Mahomed (MAIPS ’10) spent the spring semester of 2010 working for Amnesty International in New York as a participant in the voluntary International Professional Service Program (IPSS) at the Monterey Institute. “Amnesty International USA was something of a dream come true for me,” says Faraaz, who specialized in development and human rights in his studies at MIIS. His work for Amnesty International was primarily focused on the human rights violations associated with inadequate access to health care across the United States, in particular regarding maternal healthcare.
Faraaz says getting to live in New York was a great bonus and that the two environments, the Big Apple and Amnesty International, complimented each other perfectly. “Both were frenetic, crazy and sometimes stressful, but both were also wonderfully unpredictable and full of challenges, opportunities and endless excitement.” He says the whole experience was incredibly valuable, especially “being able to put into practice those concepts and ideas that sometimes seem so removed from the world when you learn them in a classroom.”
IPSS is a six-month, rigorous training program and in addition to the professional component, students engage in a pre-departure course, a group research project and, at the end, a capstone seminar. Forty-one students, the largest group to date, took advantage of the IPSS opportunity this year and will be showcasing their experience at the Irvine Auditorium August 18-20.