Claudia Romeu

Claudia Romeu - 2019 Nominee
Position: Program Manager
Organization: Rise Up
Current Location: United States, North America
Masters in Public Health from University of California at Berkeley, Maternal and Child Health Program
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Pregnancy and Birth Doula
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    School of Public Health Fellowship
    Awarding Organization:
    University of California at Berkeley School of Public Health
    Date Awarded:
    August 1, 2012
  • Award:
    Honors in Anthropology
    Awarding Organization:
    Washington University in St Louis
    Date Awarded:
    May 25, 2008
  • Award:
    National Hispanic Scholar
    Awarding Organization:
    College Board
    Date Awarded:
    March 1, 2008
75 Public Votes Reached!
Claudia works as a program manager at Rise up and heads Youth Champion Initiative fellowship. She is responsible for building the capacity of young leaders on FP, SRHRJ and assists them to launch creative new initiatives to improve SRHRJ. – Ankita Rawat, Executive Director at Beyond Eye
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

My experience in the field started as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru where I trained dozens of peer educators as teen pregnancy prevention champions. During my service I noticed the need for youth friendly educational materials. This led me to direct a documentary and educational tool “Menstrual Delay”, the story of two adolescent girls as they navigate motherhood. Available here

After my return to the United States and while pursuing an MPH from the UC Berkeley I began working for Rise Up. Since 2013 I manage the Youth Champions Initiative, our validated model enables young leaders from around the world to create large-scale change through leadership development, technology, innovation, and advocacy.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

I had been working with peer educators in Peru for about a year, and I was confident that they knew all about birth control methods and negotiating condom use. It was heartbreaking to see one of them get pregnant. It was the moment where I realized that none of these interventions work all by themselves. They have to be strategic, multi-layered and multi component. It goes from having access to accurate information to having and access to high quality and friendly services.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

I consider myself a champion of Champions. I constantly advocate for our SRHR Youth Champions to be at the center, amplifying their voices, and finding opportunities for them to build their capacity, access funding and expand their networks. Mentoring and providing technical assistance to them fuels my passion and commitment. I work behind the scenes, rarely take center stage, and never take credit for their successes. Being nominated by one of them for 120under40 is by itself a great honor.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

I will use this space to further connect youth to resources and opportunities. With the $1,000 I would like to film a short video about youth advocacy, and the importance of having youth voices in important decision-making spaces were laws, policies and programs that impact them are decided for them, and not always with them. I strongly believe in the power and capacity of youth to be at the center of everything that affects them.

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