National Blog

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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"Although I still don’t know what I’ll be doing post-NHC, I think about how lucky I am to do impactful community-based work that I never would have envisioned myself doing a few years ago. I never thought I’d want to work in schools, and now doing health presentations in schools is one of my favorite parts of my position. That’s the beauty of National Health Corps- I’ve surprised myself in learning what I want in a career, don’t want, and areas I want to continue pursuing work in."
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According to the Susan G. Komen foundation, black women are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer. This discrepancy mainly comes from the fact that many black women don’t get mammograms until the cancer has progressed to a later stage. Keeping this in mind as I walk into patient rooms keeps me determined to make a difference with the patients at my health center
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"Even as a woman of color, I do not have the same life experiences as my patients. However, I want to learn more to serve them to the best of my ability and help change the detrimental statistics in maternal and child health. I want to do this by attending monthly talks regarding healthcare or cultural events around Pittsburgh where I will be able to interact with different communities in my area."
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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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NHC Chicago ‘19-20 member Jacey Hutchinson reflects on driving through the village of Maywood, where one is bound to see various places to buy a quick fried meal while the opportunities for fresh, healthy meals are virtually nonexistent.
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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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