Weitzman Welcomes Inaugural Health Policy Summer Interns

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The Weitzman Institute is pleased to announce our inaugural cohort of Health Policy Summer Interns based out of our Washington, DC, office! Our interns will collaborate with staff across all arms of Weitzman (Policy, Research, and Education) and help further our efforts in our priority areas of social determinants of health, workforce development, and systems transformation. We are grateful to our partners at the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation and University of California, Berkeley Cal in the Capital Program for connecting us with these exceptional young leaders. We are very excited to host each of them and look forward to seeing what each accomplishes during their time with us!


Meet Our Interns

Jilkiah Bryant

At the University of Mississippi, Jilkiah Bryant is a senior majoring in public health with minors in mathematics and African American studies. She has investigated the impact of education and economic development in poverty alleviation and has worked throughout communities in Mississippi and New York. She is well versed in utilizing a combined practice of data analytics, research, and engagement to inform grassroots organizing and community building practices in order to make large scale impacts in disadvantaged communities. Her areas of interest include policy, finance, public health, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement. Jilkiah has extensive research and work experience, accumulating both quantitative and qualitative skills that can be applied to a wide range of topics and disciplines.

Adam Elzarka

Adam Elzarka is a recent summa cum laude graduate from the University of Cincinnati with bachelor’s degrees in medical sciences and liberal arts with concentrations in Arabic, philosophy, and psychology. He joined the University of Cincinnati as a Cincinnatus Scholar and member of the University Honors Program. Adam is committed to mitigating barriers to education and health equity, especially those faced by refugees and immigrants.He has served as the President of Refuge-UC, an organization that promotes higher education among refugee and immigrant students through mentorship. Adam has interned with USAID and has studied Arabic extensively in Oman and Morocco as a Boren and CLS Scholar. He has also worked on community-based projects in Thailand as part of his involvement in GlobeMed at UC, a student organization partnered with the SAW Foundation to aid Burmese migrants. Upon graduation, he intends to complete a year of service before pursuing a joint MD/MPH.

Darius Parakh

Darius is a rising senior at the University of California, Berkeley, studying Philosophy and Rhetoric, with a minor in Public Policy. Outside of school, Darius works to integrate restorative practices into local youth court systems. Darius is excited to spend his summer in D.C. working with the Institute and exploring the nation’s capital!

Oksanna Samey

As the daughter of African immigrants, Oksanna Samey has spent much of her life advocating for the physical and social health of historically marginalized individuals. Oksanna comes to the Weitzman Institute as a 2023 graduate of Harvard University, where she earned an undergraduate degree in Integrative Biology, global health policy and Spanish with highest honors. During her time at Harvard, Oksanna was named a Truman Scholar and a Gates Scholar, and she served as both the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Chief of CrimsonEMS (Harvard’s student-run emergency medical service). Oksanna has also researched vaccine credential hesitancy rates during the COVID-19 pandemic, and directed the distribution of wellness supplies for Black and Indigenous people affected by the murder of George Floyd in her native Minneapolis, MN. Oksanna intends to pursue an MD/MPH program, and eventually spend her career working in primary healthcare policy. As she joins the Weitzman Institute, Oksanna is excited to learn more about healthcare policy and grow alongside the Institute!