Kosloff’s senior experience provides opportunity for activism

Kosloff%27s+senior+experience+provides+opportunity+for+activism

Courtesy of Arianna Kosloff

Senior Arianna Kosloff and her fellow interns at Planned Parenthod and Teenage Advocate Project volunteers pose with their signs aimed to raise awareness for STD and STI testing, services which are offered at Planned Parenthood.

Alexa Pinto, Staff Writer

As part of the senior experience program, hundreds of seniors have participated in internships in businesses, schools and offices.  For senior Arianna Kosloff, however, who chose to intern at Planned Parenthood for her senior experience, the internship has also served as a defining life experience.

“When the time came to decide where I’d be spending all the hours required for our senior experience, I decided I wanted to find a project I could really take something away from,” said Kosloff.

Although its existence is certainly controversial in the media and in recent elections, Planned Parenthood is closer to home than one might think, with locations in nearby Glen Cove and Hempstead.  Thousands of Long Island men and women use the non-profit organization for services such as STI and pregnancy testing, as well as cancer-related tests and check-ups, which are often offered for free and do not require insurance.

Kolsoff’s internship often requires her to do simple office tasks, such as computer work or addressing or stuffing envelopes, but she has also participated in more involved activities, through the Teen Advocate Project (TAP).  TAP is a program where teens work with their fellow peers to learn about and raise awareness for issues such as STIs, teen pregnancy, and abortion.

One afternoon, Kosloff, her fellow interns, and other TAP teens gathered on the street holding signs that spelled out “Love yourself and get tested! HONK!” to raise awareness for the importance of STI testing among Long Islanders.

Kosloff also helped run Planned Parenthood’s annual gala, an event that raised over $200,000 for the organization.

Kosloff experienced firsthand the criticism and protests that Planned Parenthood has dealt with since it was founded in 1916.  Planned Parenthood frequently comes under fire from anti-abortionists as well as organizations against the use of contraceptives and birth control.

“My first day walking into the building there was a man standing outside holding a sign that read ‘abortion = murder.’  For some reason I was shocked to see this, and even though I wasn’t entering the building for an appointment, I felt judged.  Although I have heard about protesters before and seen them on TV, it was different to see them in person.  This man felt so strongly about women not receiving abortions that he was standing outside a small building in Hempstead, alone, on a random weekday afternoon,” said Kosloff.

While people have the right to feel strongly against Planned Parenthood, Kosloff points out that only a small percentage of Planned Parenthood’s finances and services go towards abortions, which is the service that comes under the most fire.

The vast majority of Planned Parenthood’s resources go to services such as prenatal care, adoption referrals, family planning services, and breast cancer screenings, rather than to the more controversial issues, as some may think.    These are not issues, Kosloff says, but are essential health care measures for every family regardless of its religious beliefs.