Feature: Malka Berro ’18: ‘Co-op paid off’

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“I’m a policy associate at the National Council for Behavioral Health in Washington DC and will also be starting a Master’s degree in public policy at George Washington University this fall. The National Council is a non-profit organization that represents over 3,300 behavioral health organizations that serve over 10 million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addictions. The National Council also introduced and facilitates Mental Health First Aid USA, which helps people identify and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges (over 2 million people to date have been certified!).

 
I work on the federal policy team, helping to advocate for policies that support behavioral health providers and people living with behavioral health conditions. One recent thing I’m especially proud of is the record-breaking attendance of our Hill Day at Home, a virtual educational and advocacy event for mental health and addictions – I’d love to see some Antiochians in attendance (June 23-24, 2020)! www.hilldayathome.org
 
 
At Antioch, I majored in Psychology and used my co-ops as a way to gain an on-the-job education about policy. I’d say all of my co-ops were instrumental in leading me to where I am now! I first started in DC at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, a psychiatric hospital, an outpatient clinic, then interned for Congressman Turner, worked on epilepsy advocacy in Madrid, Spain, and co-oped at the National Council in my senior year.
 
Some advice I’d give to current students is to choose your co-ops as you would any class; use them to help bolster your education and think about what kind of long-term impact you may get from them. You may end up returning back to the organization for a job after Antioch! Reach out to alumni as well – we’re more than happy to talk about moving to a new area, helping you find a job or anything else you may need as you think about co-ops. “

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