Violet Leadership

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Jenell Coleman, MD, MPH
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Co-Founder, CMO and Medical Director

Dr. Coleman is an OB/GYN with 20 years of experience as a physician. Her areas of clinical expertise include comprehensive gynecologic care of women from adolescence to menopause. She created Violet because she wanted young girls and women in the Baltimore area and beyond to have a reliable and comprehensive place to learn about their sexual and reproductive health, reach providers, and have access to free and confidential reproductive healthcare to protect their futures.

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Saumya Sao, BA
she/they

Co-Founder, CEO and Creative Director

Saumya Sao is a recent graduate of Duke University, where she earned her Bachelor's degree with distinction in Global Health and Gender Studies. Saumya conceptualized the Violet brand, built and manages the website, procures funding, founded and runs the YCAB, and manages the intern team. She also produces the Violet video series. Saumya hopes to spend her life improving equitable access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, and is so excited to be a part of Violet, which is doing exactly that for young people in Baltimore!

Student Interns

Education & Research Team

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Maclaine Barré-Quick
COO, Chief Coordinator

Maclaine (she/her) is a senior at Johns Hopkins University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health Studies with a minor in Women's Studies. She is part of Violet's first group of interns. Maclaine supports the research team on a variety of projects and supports Violet's effort to form partnerships with community-based organizations and schools in Maryland. She is also a clinic-based volunteer and Youth Advisory Board Facilitator. She is excited by the opportunity to work with the Violet Project to increase accessibility to sexual health resources and education in the Baltimore area for young people. After undergrad, she plans to pursue an MSPH in Population, Family and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and become a pediatric surgeon.

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Sadie Abboud

Sadie (she/her) is a senior at Johns Hopkins University double-majoring in public health studies and natural sciences. Sadie is part of Violet's first group of interns, and supports a variety of Violet research projects. She is also a Youth Advisory Board Facilitator and helps creates educational infographics for the youth and for Violet clinic/school outreach. She joined Violet because she is passionate about improving the overall health of her communities. Sadie plans to pursue medical school after she graduates. 

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Ruoxi Yu, BA, MPH

Ruoxi (Roh-she) (she/her) is a fourth-year medical student at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She just completed her Master’s in Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She earned her Bachelor's in Anthropology at Yale, where she conducted ethnographic research on the experiences of women with infertility in China. Her current research focuses on issues of fertility counseling and access for reproductive aged women diagnosed with gynecologic cancer. Ruoxi primarily works with the Youth Council Advisory Board (YCAB), research team, and Ask Nellie column. She is looking forward to engaging with Baltimore teens, learning about their perceptions and barriers to reproductive healthcare, and amplifying their voices through Violet. 

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Sanyukta Deshmukh, BS

Sanyukta (she/her) is a second-year medical student at University of Maryland School of Medicine and studied Bioengineering in undergraduate. She worked within the Children’s National Hospital’s Emergency Department for three years, overseeing several intervention projects focused on social navigation and reproductive justice for adolescent patients. With Violet, she supports the research team and helped set up telehealth infrastructure to continue her passion for advocacy in reproductive health literacy in Baltimore. In the future, she hopes to be a physician-advocate and contribute to the development of social justice oriented digital health initiatives!  

Other Interns

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Fatima Baloul

Fatima (she/her) is a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University pursuing a major in Public Health studies while on a Pre-Physician Assistant (PA) track. Fatima is highly interested in child and maternal health and addressing the health inequities that adversely affect underserved populations, specifically pregnant, marginalized women and children. She enjoys applying her creative mind in the context of health-care related projects. Fatima is especially looking forward to being a part of The Violet Project community. She is heavily involved with the Violet patient volunteering program. Fatima hopes to be a pediatric or OB/GYN PA and to join an equitable health care practice.

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Yordanos Degefe

Yordanos (she/her) is a senior at Johns Hopkins University majoring in Public Health Studies and minoring in Psychology on the pre-medical track. Yordanos helps with product donations and the philanthropic growth of Violet. She joined the team to be involved in a project that directly works to address the social determinants of health that prevent Baltimore youth from accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare. 

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Janya Budaraju

Janya (she/they) is a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University double majoring in Public Health Studies and Computer Science. As a member of the Violet team, Janya works on content development with a focus on inclusivity & representation, furthering Janya's primary academic interests in technology, advocacy, and public health. In the future, Janya hopes to pursue an MPH and PhD with the goal of driving public health research centered around reproductive and social justice.

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Alexandra Lombardo, BA

Alexandra (she/her) completed her 3rd year of medical school at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and is currently on a Fulbright scholarship studying global health in Taiwan. She loves working with adolescents and helps write content for the Violet website. She hopes to be a gynecologist in a future where everyone has access to health knowledge and resources regardless of where they live. 

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Faith Obilo

Faith (she/her) is a junior at Johns Hopkins University majoring in Public Health Studies and Natural Sciences. She is passionate about issues relating to women’s health, particularly in the field of gynecological disorders. Faith is interested in understanding the barriers that prevent young people in Baltimore from accessing quality and equitable healthcare and how she can effect change to bridge those gaps. Faith joined Violet because she resonated with the educational mission of Violet and desired to contribute to the efforts to make talking about sexual and reproductive health the norm and less of a taboo. As a member of the Violet team, Faith secures product donations with external companies and supports research efforts. She is also a clinic-based volunteer. In her free time, she loves to dance, read, and re-watch Marvel movies in chronological order. Faith aspires to pursue an MD/MPH and eventually become a gynecologist equipped with the tools to provide compassionate care and be a patient advocate.

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Mia Weller

Mia (she/her) is a senior in high school at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. She creates content for our social media accounts. Mia aspires to be an aid for the underserved in her community. While attaining her certificate in Community Health Work at the Morehouse School of Medicine, she became more aware of health disparities in Baltimore, and wondered how she could help. She started working with us through Johns Hopkins Summer Jobs to further her knowledge in health disparities. She hopes to continue learning how to help bridge the gaps in sexual and reproductive healthcare disparities. 

Previous Interns

Ellie Frisch

Ellie (she/her) was an intern with Violet during her senior at Towson High School in Baltimore, Maryland. In the Fall of 2022, she started school at Smith College. Ellie contribued to website content and social media. She is passionate about sexual health, education, and female empowerment. Her past experience includes being a Planned Parenthood Peer Educator and the co-chair of the Towson High Period Poverty Project. In the future, she plans to pursue Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist studies and the arts in college, and she hopes to work in social justice activism. 

Natalie Mar Cordero

Natalie (she/her) was an intern with Violet as a senior at the University of Virginia, double-majoring in Global Public Health and Medical Anthropology on a pre-medical track. She has since started her MPH at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health. She is passionate about alleviating inequities in healthcare faced by Black and Brown communities with a history of marginalization in the US and Latin America. She led drawings of the Violet icons and helped create content for the website. In the future, she hopes to become a physician who provides efficient and equitable care. 

Eve Bryner

Eve (she/her) was an intern with Violet as a high school senior in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She has since headed to college at American University. Eve did the original Violet video voiceovers as Violet! She hopes to study public health in college and become an epidemiologist. She is very excited to work with the Violet Project, which combines her passions of social justice and public health. 

Jayda Harris

Jayda (she/her) was an intern with Violet during her senior year at Baltimore City College (high school). She has since begun college at Spelman college. Jayda aspires to be a change agent in her community and aid those that come from marginalized backgrounds. While attaining her certificate in Community Health Work at the Morehouse School of Medicine, her passion to help those that come from historically underserved communities grew stronger. She hopes to later become an Obstetrician and Gynecologist in order to provide high quality healthcare for women that come from  historically underserved populations and promote equal access to sexual and reproductive health. 

Maddie Piona

Maddie (she/her) is a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University majoring in public health. She helps with social media and at-home STI testing kits for the Violet Project. She is passionate about working to fix health disparities that exist in the Baltimore community. She is very excited to be a part of the Violet Project’s mission and loves working to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare for young community members in Baltimore. She hopes to have a career where she can continue helping to provide equitable and high quality sexual and reproductive healthcare to those who need it. 

Liliana Rodriguez

Liliana (she/her) is a senior at Johns Hopkins University and is majoring in neuroscience. She has always been passionate about women’s health and reproductive health. In her free time, she loves Latin dancing. She is so happy to be working with fellow teammates to expand the content of Violet Project and to help spread its impact. With Violet, she worked on producing content about healthy relationships and consent and served as the social media team lead. 

Lyndsay Hastings, BS

Lyndsay Hastings (she/her) is a recent graduate from Duke University and currently works for the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore. She has written and facilitated STEM curriculum for middle and high schoolers. She is involved with Violet because she believes that educating young people on sexual and reproductive health is an essential step in improving reproductive health access and outcomes. 

Ariel Balaban, BS, MHS

Ariel (she/her) just earned her Master's in Health Science from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She works as a team member on a variety of harm reduction research projects in topics such as overdose prevention and response, tobacco control, COVID-19 prevention, strategies to address vaccine hesitancy and improvement of health outcomes for populations living with HIV. Her main focus is improving the accessibility of health information. She will begin her PhD in Baltimore very soon! She is looking forward to working with the Violet Project and learning more about increasing equity in sexual and reproductive healthcare through the perspectives of Baltimore teens.

Helen Taylor

Helen (she/her) is a senior at Johns Hopkins University pursuing a BA in Public Health Studies and minoring in Spanish for the Professions. She is on the pre-med track and aspires to be an OB/GYN. She is passionate about providing health access, education, and resources to Latine/POC women and gender minorities. With Violet, she supports content-writing and loves giving interactive presentions at schools and the community - in English and Spanish! In her free time, Helen likes learning new recipes, reading, and day tripping.

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Claire Pince, BS

Claire (she/her) is currently a research fellow at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. When she’s not playing with rats, she enjoys baking, gardening, and making music. As an undergrad, she engaged in peer education as a tutor and a workshop facilitator for Penn Violence Prevention. Claire was eager to get involved with Violet and continue working with other young people to advance a fantastic cause - sexual and reproductive health education! As an addiction researcher, she is a proponent of harm reduction, the foundation of which is compassion: meeting people where they are and providing information and resources to minimize harm, a mission Violet Voices contributes to through empowering teens to make informed decisions about their sexual health. 

Michelle (she/her) is a sophomore at Johns Hopkins studying neuroscience and philosophy. She is passionate about healthcare issues surrounding women’s health and neonatology. She's currently involved with research in neonatal memory in HI mice. In Violet, Michelle is excited to write content regarding women’s disorders. She aims to become an MD/PhD in neonatal research.