Shirley has been working at the Institute since 1995 when she was first an intern. She has spent two years as a teaching assistant for Project L/EARN’s summer training program. Over the years, Shirley says she has learned tremendously. As far as being a teaching assistant, Shirley had stated, “It is not as easy as it looks. Whether or not you know something already, you need to prepare so it is comprehensive and well thought out.” By teaching the students she has learned effective and efficient teaching methods she will use in the future. Her ultimate goal is to work as a community health education, planning and implementing health programs, particularly in an urban setting.
"Before Project L/EARN", Shirley had stated, "I just wanted to get my BA. Project L/EARN showed me graduate school was accessible to me. After Project L/EARN I was teaching graduate students what I had learned in the summer." As a result of the intensive summer training and the experiences which followed, Shirley became more confident in her ability to excel as a graduate student. She spent the following summer in San Juan Puerto Rico as a research Intern at the school of Public Health at the University of Puerto Rico, and received a Rutgers University Undergraduate Research Fellowship her senior year. As a result, she will pursue a master's program in Public Health at the School of Education at New York University.