Changemakers in Family Planning: Sneha Challa
Awarded 2022
Changemakers in Family Planning
Sneha Challa, PhD
University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Sneha Challa is a Postdoctoral Researcher at UC San Francisco. Her research focuses on understanding the interpersonal and normative influences on young people’s reproductive health and well-being. Her research interests stem from her Indian-American upbringing that involved balancing conflicting cultural expectations, particularly in the arena of sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Sneha pursued a career in public health, aiming to understand how these contextual factors impact reproductive health behaviors and outcomes. The proposed work and training made possible by the Changemakers in Family Planning award will position her to merge her educational, professional, and personal experiences, and investigate the cultural and normative context that informs reproductive decisions among young, South Asians. Thus, Sneha’s goals are to expand her knowledge in three areas: 1) health disparities research, particularly with respect to immigrants, 2) research project management, and 3) grant writing. This additional mentored training, will position her to lead research and intervention development to supporting equitable reproductive decision-making among young people whose social environment constrains their access to and use of contraception, abortion, and SRH services. Sneha’s aspirations are inspired by the women in her life who overcame traditional gender norms to pursue educational and professional opportunities, and who instilled in her the importance of reproductive choice in her own life. It is this ability to choose in all matters of reproductive health that drives her goal to promote freedom of choice around SRH and reproductive agency for all young people.