Participant Name: Ernest James “Devin” Rankin

Major: Public Health and Education Sciences

Year: Third Year

Pronouns: He, Him, His

Hey, I’m Devin! I am a third year Public Health Policy and Education Sciences double major. I am a first-generation student from Anaheim, California. One fun fact about me, I experienced my first plane ride this year! Additionally, I have never traveled outside the country and so this trip to Costa Rica will be my first time abroad.

During my first 2 years at UCI, I found myself extremely interested in the major of Public Health Sciences with aspirations of becoming a doctor. Throughout the span of the courses, I found myself becoming more and more distant from the scientific perspective of curing illnesses and began to look more towards the social catalysts of health disparities. This led me to change my major to Public Health Policy where I felt much more satisfied in my courses. Still, there was something missing and soon I realized that that hole was in the role of education. As I matured in my understanding, I began to see the world through a lens that intersected policy and education. Although this is not the answer to the world’s problems, for me, it is a good place to start. With somewhat of an epiphany, I began to see how every walk of life around the world has been impacted by both policy and education. Whether that be impoverished communities, polluted oceans, or countries with poor public health, I believe education and policy are critical ways to improve lives and environments.

The environmental crisis that we face is one of the most pressing issues that we face today, which is why policy and education are so important. In my first time out of the country, I know that the Costa Rica Program will provide me with valuable knowledge that I can put back into my community and the world.