National Health Corps Florida Blog

My ultimate goal for this service time is to impact people in the Jacksonville community in a meaningful way. I hope that educating clients about their insurance benefits decreases their stress and improves their health and financial situation. I want clients to develop a strong, positive relationship with exercise through participation in Moving Moms.
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Growing up in Arlington, Virginia, I didn’t come in contact with many individuals experiencing homelessness. Though I know they existed, homeless individuals were not as prevalent or visible in my hometown. On the occasion that I would be approached and asked to spare some change or provide assistance if I could, I used to find myself perplexed and almost paralyzed not really knowing what to do.
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This experience serves as an opportunity to uplift the community; to go beyond the call of duty and guide individuals in need of resources that give them the opportunity to rise above their current life situation. The best way to better inform the individuals I serve is to be aware of the services available that meet their needs and using my fellow AmeriCorps members as resources when possible.
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As AmeriCorps members, we take the pledge to “get things done.” “Getting things done” is the AmeriCorps slogan; it is printed on our lanyards, and it is the hashtag on the AmeriCorps social media posts. My experience with Richard has taught me that “getting things done” is not just about approaching your service with energy and ambition. It is not just about being self-motivated and eager to make a difference. “Getting things done” also requires patience.
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I’ve had the pleasure of meeting people from all over the world and getting to learn about their cultures as we cross paths at the Welcome Center. Our ideas of healthy lifestyles are not always one and the same, as I have learned much about alternative health practices in other countries. For a newcomer, a healthy lifestyle can be difficult to navigate in a country that you are just starting to get familiar with.
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These are just things I did as a part of my service with National Health Corps AmeriCorps or on my own. I couldn’t stand to know there was something more I could do and then not do it. And I’m not the only one – every NHC member did something to contribute this holiday season.
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As I acclimated to my role at the clinic, I often found myself asking, “How can I help? What more can I do?” Luckily, I have a wealth of information through my fellow National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps members and the Sulzbacher Center that I can use to help connect clients to the medical, behavioral, and housing services they need.
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“My name is Emily, and I am a National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps member serving at the Sulzbacher Center in downtown Jacksonville” or so my intro spiel goes. However, that initial sentence doesn’t really describe my role or the things that I do day-to-day to increase access to health services for the clients I serve.
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