Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
December 3, 2021

Humans of Hopkins: Casey

By CLAIRE MOON | October 25, 2021

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COURTESY OF CLAIRE MOON.

Meet Casey, a freshman Public Health major from Myanmar.

“When I was in ninth grade, I started this little group called Myanmar Children Health Project (MCHP). Our goal was something to do about healthcare in Myanmar for underserved people, people who lived in rural areas, et cetera. But we didn’t really know what we were doing, and we were just like, ‘Okay, let’s vaccinate people.’ So we organized a fund for Hepatitis B vaccinations. I remember the first event I went to was, I guess, one of the most eye-opening events that I had.”

“To give some context about me, I [used to] go to international school in Myanmar, and my social circle consisted of very rich and wealthy people; I’m not as wealthy compared to them, but I’m still much better off than the people that I was working with for MCHP.”

“So I went to this event and we had a range of crayons and drawing supplies for the kids [for] after they finished their vaccination. At the end of the event, one of my friends comes up to me and he’s like, ‘Oh, some girl took this box and ran away.’ The first thing that came to my mind was a little bit of disappointment, but I also expected that. I was like, ‘Oh okay, kids want crayons. They’re really poor. Therefore, she probably stole the box of crayons and ran away.’ I was just thinking to myself that it’s understandable because they are in that situation. I was a little disappointed but I didn’t think anything of it. I was like, ‘Okay, whatever.’“

“Ten minutes later, this little girl comes up to me with a huge smile. She just goes ‘Here! A box of crayons.’ She handed the crayons to me, and she had picked up all the crayons that other people left behind and didn’t clean up. She was actually helping us to clean up and I didn’t realize. I just realized in that moment how ignorant I am, and how I just immediately made an assumption about someone based on her situation. And I just immediately made that assumption that people in worse situation[s] than me are going to make worse moral or ethical decisions. And I was like, ‘That is so wrong of me to just not know a single thing about this person and immediately make the assumption that she is poor and therefore she is going to be a thief.’”

“It might seem harmless, but then I realized that there’s so many times when I think that way, and I need to stop thinking that way. Even if I never say it out loud or do anything to harm people, I really think it matters how you think about people and shape your own thoughts.”

“That was one of my big eye-opening moments for me. Because of my experience in MCHP, I’ve become much more mature and much more aware of the world, not to sound dramatic. I feel like I am more willing to see things that are uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable to see and realize that you made a mistake. You are biased sometimes and you make wrong assumptions about people. And because of my experience, I’ve been more willing to look forward when I’m thinking wrong and also fix that and try to see more things that are usually not in my social bubble.”

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