Jenny Park

“My passion for dedicating a year to providing service in the health care sector stems from my valuable previous and current service experiences in a variety of settings, as well as my motivations to actively address social disparities.”

Educational Background: University of Pittsburgh, B.S. in Neuroscience

Host Site: Insurance Specialist at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health – Ambulatory Health Services, Health Center 6

Why did you join National Health Corps?
My passion for dedicating a year to providing service in the health care sector stems from my valuable previous and current service experiences in a variety of settings, as well as my motivations to actively address social disparities. Not only does the NHC offer me the ability to implement these goals, it also gives me the opportunity to gain more insight into the challenges surrounding health care in severely underserved communities.

What are your plans after AmeriCorps service?
I plan to go to medical school and incorporate this future aspiration with working with under served communities.

Tell us about an employment, service, or research experience that was important to you.
Upon learning about the Guatemalan-Mayan Civil War in my Global Society course and how the consequential genocide had risen from discrimination, I was inspired to help empower the indigenous Maya. In the summer of my sophomore year, I took the opportunity to engage in an internship abroad to work closely with a non-profit woman’s cooperative in Guatemala. Helping provide free trade access and Spanish lessons to dedicated Maya artisan women, who mostly spoke ancient Maya languages and took on multiple jobs, they have grown to become more self-sufficient and financially solvent. After personally interacting with impoverished populations during my time in free healthcare distributions to the low-income regions of the highlands, I realized the need for sustainable solutions for the underserved in the United States. Regardless of the fact that the Unites States remains one of the most affluent countries, the uninsured population remains in the millions. Among this demographic, one in four Latinos living in the United States does not have health insurance. This disparity in access to proper healthcare is influenced by barriers pertaining to language, finance, legalities, and culture. After recognizing these disparities in healthcare, I combined my passion for Spanish with my passion for health by serving as a Spanish translator in the Birmingham Free Clinic. As a culturally aware individual with the drive to actively confront social issues, I want to continue to make an impact in empowering others through service learning.

What first sparked your interest in community service?
Throughout my undergraduate career and encounters in volunteering opportunities, I noticed that the fear of the unknown and an uncertainty about the future are a common denominator among diverse individuals from many backgrounds. I wanted to address the uncertainties in various areas such as food insecurity and poverty and became heavily involved in campus organizations with aims ranging from providing local communities with excess food from the campus dining halls to providing service to and empowering the global under served populations by means of sustainable solutions. I plan to continue this dedication to service through the NHC!

What about Philadelphia excites you the most?
I look forward to exploring Philadelphia's unique and diverse art, history, and food culture!

What is your favorite food?
Eggs

Hometown: Fort Washington, PA