Friendships For a Lifetime
Moving to a new place where I didn’t know anyone was extremely scary at first, but also exciting. New beginnings… a fresh start. My friends at home are my biggest support systems so leaving them behind was scary. I was scared that I wasn’t going to meet anyone here that I connected with. During my service year with the National Health Corps Florida, I met people that I know I will be friends with forever. It’s really important to have an open mind set and be patient. Some people will connect automatically, but some friendships take a little longer to develop. Even if you don’t necessarily connect with people in your cohort, go out in Jacksonville and do things you enjoy. You will definitely meet people that way. My closest friend here isn’t even in my program but we do everything together!
Getting into Graduate School
Serving with NHC allowed me to gain so much valuable public health experience. During my service term I have attended community meetings, collaborated with various health organizations, and have given presentations in front of hundreds of people. All of this has made me a great candidate for a MPH program. I will be starting my education at Boston University in the fall, where I will be concentrating on Epidemiology and Biostatistics. I got the opportunity to shadow an epidemiologist this year as well, which really helped solidify my career choice.
$ Learning How To Ball on a Budget $
One of my biggest worries was being able to survive on the stipend. I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy, but i’ve made it work! The secret to making it work is preparation and organization! I’m still able to do everything i’ve done in the past, it just takes a little more research. I will drive a little further to get cheaper gas, research the most affordable nail salons, and go shopping on the sale racks! I’ve grown to be more appreciative of money and realized that a lot of the money I spent before were on things that I never even needed. It’s definitely been a humbling experience.
Gaining Amazing Role Models ♡
My role at my Tobacco Free Jacksonville is mostly to educate the community about the health effects of using tobacco products. Even though the health effects of tobacco use is something i’ve never really been passionate about, I have fallen in love with the organization and all the people that work there. My three supervisors have become role models to me. They’ve helped me grow in so many different ways, and even when I’ve made mistakes they’ve always been super patient with me. I have grown to know each of them personally and I look up to them both on a professional and personal level. They have been there for me through the ups and downs of my service year, and have been my home away from home.
This blog post was written by NHC FL AmeriCorps member, Maggie DoValle.
Maggie serves at Tobacco Free Jacksonville as a Health Educator.