West Chester University (B.A. Psychology and Gender Studies)
Why did you join NHC?
I joined NHC after seeing firsthand the intense health disparities that exist across the city of Philadelphia and wanting to be part of the solution. I often feel overwhelmed wondering what I can tangibly give to make healthcare more accessible across the board, and I was drawn to the way National Health Corps offers direct service opportunities to both learn and contribute ideas to the change-making process. Furthermore, I love and feel so passionately about School-Based Health Centers and the way they meet kids at the intersection of health and education. The opportunity to work with kids at all stages of their K-12 journey and empowering them to take charge of their health is an opportunity that I am so excited about and one that will inform my career and academic pursuits for years to come. And finally, joining NHC gives me the opportunity to learn from and grow alongside both clinicians and administrative staff that are well versed in multiple issues within the public health field.
What are your plans after NHC?
After NHC, I hope to attend a Masters program for Public Health and study policy, maternal and child health, and public health nutrition. It is my hope that I can do both field and policy work to inform public health policy, address health disparities and increase access to comprehensive healthcare, particularly in under-resourced communities.
What sparked your interest in community service?
My most informative and transformational community service experience was during my senior year of college, volunteering with a citizenship class at a multi-service nonprofit who offered a clinic, citizenship and ESL classes, legal assistance, etc. During this time I made outpatient appointments for Spanish-speaking patients and spent two and half hours every Wednesday facilitating a course to help immigrants prepare for their citizenship test, practicing civics, dictation, language and interview skills. This experience was powerful in more ways than one, not only because of the joy on my students faces when they passed, but also because of the cultural exchange that happened on both sides of the facilitator-student relationship. Furthermore, I observed the extent to which volunteers increased the capacity of the organization. From translators making outpatient appointments, drivers, legal aid, teachers, etc., volunteers increased the amount of clients who were able to receive services as well the quality of care offered. This experience inspired me to be giving of my time, resources, knowledge etc. (in this year and throughout my career) in order to increase the scope of work for organizations whose mission I passionately align with.
What excites you the most about serving in Philadelphia?
I am excited about the diverse communities that exist within Philadelphia and also all the green space to lay in the grass after a long day of service! I am also excited by the amount of inclusive organizations and resources geared towards increasing health care access, empowering under-resourced communities, and transforming the degree of poverty that exists within the city. I can’t wait to serve, learn and grow at my site, and also through collaboration with some of these organizations and the leaders that make their work happen.
What is your favorite food?
TACOS, avocados, and heavily salted edamame