Community

Uplifting a Community

Rising senior gives back to local Japanese families

Alyssa Cooper Headshot

Rising senior gives back to local Japanese families

For Alyssa Cooper ’22, a rising senior double majoring in medical anthropology and women’s gender studies, service holds a significant place in education at Carolina.

During her sophomore year, Cooper was awarded the Carolina Center for Public Service’s MacDonald Community Service Scholarship, which requires students to complete a service project before graduation.

After COVID-19 interrupted her plans to study abroad in Japan, Cooper, who speaks native Japanese, sought a way to connect more deeply with the Japanese community in the Triangle as a way to make up for that lost experience.

She landed on a need that addresses her interests, her double major and her desire to make sure her service is meaningful for everyone involved. Cooper chose to serve as a doula at Southern Bridge International’s Prego Club.

The local organization’s Prego Club helps pregnant or postpartum Japanese women in the Triangle navigate the American medical system — and find support for the many hurdles that come with new motherhood in a new country.

“It’s what makes me happy, knowing that I’m able to make an impact,” said Cooper.

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