Study Public Health & Food in Cuba!

My name is Amelia and I am a student at Portland Community College, raising money for a 3-week study abroad Public Health Course in Cuba! The course takes place July 2018. 

I am finishing my undergraduate degree, and will be transfering in time to Portland State University to graduate with a degree in Public Health. 

The study abroad course is ' Health, Food Systems, and the Environment' . This program will provide an immersive, global learning environment to study food supply, agriculture, the environment, and health in Cuba, looking at the differences in food supplies and systems and how they impact nutrition.

We have the privilege of learning from many locals about Cuban agriculture, urban farming, healthcare and general nutrition. We will also stay at La Picadora community, listening to the work and wisdom of the Cuban people that has shaped a revolutionary approach to community, to health. 

I am so deeply excited about being accepted into this course and the many opportunities for learning and hands-on experience it provides. It will be a life changing thing that will help my understanding and works in the future.

I have applied for many scholarships, yet will not know their results until it may be too close to the course fee due dates in early June. If I am awarded any, I will naturally be altering the amount I am asking assistance for. Scholarships are amazing, and uncertain. Which is why I am asking for help.

After nine years away from my initial years of study at Indiana University, I have delved into my passionate curiosity for health in all manners. I have been a licensed massage therapist, studied Western Herbalism and some introductory elements of Classical Chinese Medicine, and most recently became a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association's coursehere in Portland, Oregon. I served as a teaching assistant the year after I graduated, as well. My fascination with health has led me to aim for a way to support broader communities health-more holistic health.

Yet in these individual-focused studies, I was missing something: a component of social justice. A chance to co-create greater positive, more equitable change in health for more communties. It is my hope that learning and working in some facet of public health can accomplish this. I hope to work to support the health of the poor, the houseless, people of color and individuals and families impacted by addiction. I also hope to work in the realms of food justice, and creating change for more equitable, accessible, affordable and healthier food and healthcare. Returning to college has been enormously impactful already, and I am excited to incorporate all that I have studied in the interim moving forward. 

This opportunity will help my not only my education, but a deeper understanding and practice of working with more communities and intersecting realities and social determinants of health. 

Since returning to a more traditional school institution, I have maintained a 4.00 GPA while working throughout the school year. 

I am asking for financial support for this course because I have no other way of paying for the course. Working provides me enough to live on, yet not enough to save up for this course. I have worked minimum wage jobs most of my life, leaving little opportunity to live at a different level of financial means. 

The fee for the trip is $3,860.
The tuition is approximately $312. 
Finally airfare, which is an ever fluctuating amount I must prepare for, which I estimate conservatively around $500. 

This brings the total I am asking for to $4,700. I will be unable to make this study abroad happen if I do not meet this goal. Please donate if you are able, or share with your communities if you are unable. Any amount helps!! 


Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading, and supporting my quest of learning. It means the world to me! 

  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 41 mos
  • Steve Odell 
    • $50 
    • 41 mos
  • Holleé Tripp 
    • $10 
    • 41 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $44 
    • 41 mos
  • Joshua Young 
    • $20 
    • 41 mos
See all


Amelia Shelly 
Portland, OR
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more