Since age 7 when she lost her father to addiction, Shradha Shah has been passionate about mental health care advocacy. A fourth-year major in neurobiology, physiology and behavior, she served on the Chancellor’s Mental Health Care Task Force and co-chairs the Student Mental Health Coalition in an effort to destigmatize mental illness and increase access to resources.
On the weekends, Shah volunteers at the Willow Clinic, where students and health care professionals partner to provide medical and psychiatric care for homeless people in Sacramento. This past year, she helped launch the Willow Care Kits Project, which provides hygiene products and other basic necessities to the homeless. “Our population is very important to me,” she explained.
Shah plans on attending medical school as she aims for a career as a psychiatrist active in public policy. “I want to do it for the people who don’t have access to health care,” she said. “Policy is where the change happens.”