This post was written by CHC alumna Karen Yocky.
Series: Healthy Futures
Karen served at Erie Family Health Center - Lake View High School as a Health Educator from 2012-2013.
For some, joining AmeriCorps is an easy decision. It’s an amazing opportunity to work in a potential field of interest and give back to your community. And for many, it’s an opportunity that comes at the perfect time—maybe upon college graduation or during a gap year. Who wouldn’t jump at that chance? But for others, like me, I was terrified. I knew that I was unhappy in my current position, sitting at my cubicle all day, taking the daily trip to Starbucks. I was unsatisfied and felt that I needed more purpose, but I wasn’t sure what to do next.
When I discovered the Chicago Health Corps, the description fit everything I thought I was interested in: public health, working with adolescents, and the opportunity to give back on a daily basis. I applied and it felt good to start thinking about something beyond my small gray desk. The day I got in though, I was unsure and afraid. While I wanted a new and fulfilling experience, there is comfort in the known and routine. I had the desire to work with adolescents, but had really only worked with younger children previously, and I certainly had never taught health education. I also wasn’t sure how I would manage my expenses. Would I be any good at it? Would AmeriCorps be the right fit for me?
My AmeriCorps experience changed my life in unimaginable ways. It re-awakened my desire to learn more about others that are different from me. It is only through working together that we can make our community, city and the world a better place. AmeriCorps opened my eyes to my own passion and ability to create positive change, and will continue to inspire me to find my place where I can continue making a difference.