Shalini Pammal has devoted herself to public service since the very beginning of her academic career at Harvard University. As a freshman, she became the director of the newly formed Southie After School Program, an arts-based literacy program for low-income elementary school students in South Boston, Massachusetts, focusing on academic enrichment and youth empowerment through creative self-expression. Throughout her life, she has committed herself to enabling positive change for individuals and communities. As a sophomore, she continues to direct the Southie After School program; in addition, she taught middle school students with the Harvard Youth Leadership Initiative and volunteered at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter.
As an individual deeply committed to social justice work and service, she strives to deliver quality programming to local youth while generating innovative avenues for community engagement. She has taken the lead in convening and sustaining a Community Advisory Board that allows members in youth-serving organizations to bolster existing support structures for South Boston families, and to discuss, plan, and assess community goals for youth programming. Shalini has worked during her school breaks with Alternative Public Service Programs to further her learning and service experiences. She has volunteered at the SEED School in Washington, D.C., focusing on public education reform and the Achievement Gap, she has worked in the Navajo Nation of New Mexico performing medical screenings for children in reservation Head Start programs, and most recently, she has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Believing in the importance of mentorship, Shalini serves as a Peer Advising Fellow for incoming freshmen at Harvard as well as a First-Year Urban Program (FUP) Leader, a freshmen pre-orientation program which a few years ago introduced her to the South Boston community where she worked in the South Boston Boys & Girls Club. Likewise, she was a summer mentor for the Crimson Summer Academy which counsels low income, high-achieving high school students from Boston and Cambridge in a college preparation and enrichment program. Shalini has continued to work with these students throughout the academic year.
In addition to her public service and mentoring, Shalini is an active contributor to the Harvard Crimson as an Editorial Board writer and is an editor for the Harvard College Global Health Review. She is a History of Science concentrator focusing on Medicine & Society with a secondary field in Global Health and Health Policy. She hopes to continue working with communities in a public health capacity.