Rachel Simms

Rachel knows that teachers are not supposed to have favorite students, but she admits to having one. The student’s name is Ramona. She’s a clever, kind, and thoughtful eight-year-old who lives in Jamaica. Rachel has lived in Jamaica and worked as a literacy teacher through the Peace Corp for the past two years.

It turns out that Rachel and Ramona have many things in common, including that they both suffer from epilepsy. Ramona’s struggle with epilepsy has brought up a lot of negative feelings that Rachel can relate to – shame, fear, and inferiority are too familiar to them both. Rachel knows that Ramona is not privileged in the same ways that she is, which has led to Ramona receiving poor medical treatment, having academic struggles, and experiencing low self-esteem.

Rachel realizes that ultimately Ramona’s quality of life will not improve until her seizures can be controlled. Ramona has inspired Rachel to make a change in the healthcare system. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in Heathcare Public Policy to ensure that Ramona and every other individual with epilepsy can obtain the proper medical treatment they need to control their seizures.