Kimiko Kasama

"I spent a semester abroad during my junior year of college in a service-learning program in the Dominican Republic. There I participated in an internship at an urban and resource-poor hospital that served a community plagued by the hardships of social and economic poverty. This experience changed my idea of what it means to perform service for a community and ultimately, the importance of being received within the community."

Hometown:
Bardstown, KY

Educational Background:
Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature from Transylvania University

Host Site:
Delaware Valley Community Health: Maria de Los Santos

Why did you join NHC?
I joined NHC because I wanted to participate in a service-learning program that would allow me to gain valuable knowledge and experience within a diverse public health setting. I feel this program engenders an experience that cultivates the necessary qualities, such as cultural responsiveness, respect, and patience, that are integral to becoming a health professional.

What are your plans after AmeriCorps service?
After AmeriCorps I plan to attend graduate school to obtain an MPH.

Tell us about an employment, service, or research experience that was important to you.
I spent a semester abroad during my junior year of college in a service-learning program in the Dominican Republic. There I participated in an internship at an urban and resource-poor hospital that served a community plagued by the hardships of social and economic poverty. This experience changed my idea of what it means to perform service for a community and ultimately, the importance of being received within the community. I learned how collaboration on both parts, the service member(s) and community, is essential to optimize the efforts and have an impact that is not only positive, but sustainable by the community itself once the service member has left.

What first sparked your interest in community service?
The (aforementioned) service-learning experience in the Dominican Republic.

What about Philadelphia excites you the most?
The diversity of its population and interconnectedness of the city with surrounding attraction sites.

What’s your favorite food?
Green tea ice cream