Kinjal Patel

"I want to learn as much as I can from what National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program has to offer and to strengthen the skills I will need in my professional life."

Hometown:  Tallahassee, FL
 
Educational background:  Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and Minors in Biology, Chemistry, and Family and Child Sciences from Florida State University
 
Host Site:  YMCA Duval County
 
What is your title and role at your host site?
My title is Health Educator; I will be responsible for educating school-aged children on living a healthy lifestyle. My goal is to increase physical activity, promote a nutritious diet, and decrease BMI with lesson plans that are creative and fun for children to learn and form habits that will stick with them for a lifetime.

Why did you join the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program?
I joined because I wanted to do something meaningful with my time off from school. I want to make a difference in the health community and I couldn’t think of a better way to do that then by joining the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program. Volunteering and serving underserved communities has always been a passion of mine, from serving the communities in my hometown to the communities in Lima, Peru, I have enjoyed every minute. I learned a great deal about the importance of health education and I want to feel that sense of involvement and community again. I know NHC can provide that for me, their mission and my passion are one in the same.

What are you hoping to gain from your year of service? 
Primarily, I hope to gain more knowledge about public health and the struggles people go through in the health community. I want to learn as much as I can from what National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program has to offer and to strengthen the skills I will need in my professional life. I believe joining NHC is truly a unique opportunity that I am fortunate to be a part of. I also hope to gain a sense of accomplishment that I have made a positive impact on a person’s health. I believe after I have completed my yearlong term I will have gained so much experience and knowledge, not only in public health and education but also in real life skills that will be beneficial to me in the future and throughout life.
 
What are your plans after AmeriCorps service? 
I hope to matriculate into an occupational therapy program after my AmeriCorps service is completed and pursue my goal of becoming an occupational therapist. 
 
Where do you envision yourself in 5 years?
In five years I envision myself as an occupational therapist and living out my passion of helping others live a better life.  I also envision myself five years from now furthering my education and conducting research to improve the field of occupational therapy.
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