Alia Capone

"I hope to improve others' health literacy and serve as an advocate and ally towards those I'm serving."

Hometown:
Cary, NC

Educational Background:
Biology BS, Minors in Spanish and Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Host Site:
Strawberry Mansion Health Center

Why did you join NHC?
As an advocate for social justice and equality, I feel compelled to dedicate a year of healthcare-related service to a community in need. I joined National Health Corps to help underserved patients overcome barriers impeding their access to care and assist them in navigating the US healthcare system. I hope to improve others' health literacy and serve as an advocate and ally towards those I'm serving.

What are your plans after AmeriCorps service?
I hope to attend medical school.

Tell us about an employment, service, or research experience that was important to you.
In the Summer of 2015 I worked as a teaching fellow with a non-profit educational organization called Breakthrough Silicon Valley in San Jose, CA. I taught biology and an improvisation elective to rising 9th graders for 8 weeks. Breakthrough is an organization focused on helping underserved, high-achieving middle school students to get into and graduate from 4-year universities. Breakthrough was the most rewarding and challenging experience I've ever had. I worked alongside 11 other teaching fellows with 5 administrative staff and we really became a family. IN addition we established meaningful relationships with our students and I still keep in touch with a good amount of them. Breakthrough was summer school with a summer camp vibe. While the classroom aspect was important, our primary goal was establishing a safe environment for our students to grow, develop interpersonal skills, and create memories that will last a lifetime. My students left a mark on me that summer that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

What first sparked your interest in community service?
My mom ingrained in me at a young age the importance of service and surrounding myself with people of all different backgrounds. Over time I've learned my favorite thing about service is the relationships forged with those I'm serving and those working alongside me. I love to get to understand a bit more of where people come from, the struggles they've faced and the triumphs they've had. I love building that trusting relationship and am excited for that during my service term in Philadelphia.

What about Philadelphia excites you the most?
I'm excited to be out of my comfort zone of suburban North Carolina and live in a city that is so diverse with many cultures! I'm excited for the slightly cooler climate and getting to explore the city and historical landmarks. And most of all I'm excited to meet this group of NHC members committed to service.

What’s your favorite food?
Ice cream