Sarah Hodapp

"During my undergrad I volunteered in the ER at a hospital nearby my campus.  This experience was important to the development of my interest in both clinical medicine and public health."

Hometown:
Shorewood, MN

Educational Background:
B.S. in Genetics and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Host Site:
Delaware Valley Community Health Maria de los Santos Health Center

Why did you join NHC?
I joined the National Health Corps in order to serve in a diverse community and to improve my understanding of public health and the health disparities that different socioeconomic groups face.  I hope to connect with community members and patients while learning from my host site health care providers.  The empathy and healthcare knowledge that can be gained from this experience seems to be invaluable as a future health care provider.  Being a part of NHC will also provide the opportunity to learn and grow with fellow corps members who share similar passions.   

What are your plans after AmeriCorps service?
I hope to obtain a Master in Public Health, specializing in maternal and child health and to later attend medical school.

Tell us about an employment, service, or research experience that was important to you.
During my undergrad I volunteered in the ER at a hospital nearby my campus.  This experience was important to the development of my interest in both clinical medicine and public health.  I had the opportunity to witness medical care professionals collaborate together under high stress circumstances while effectively communicating with patients and family members.  It became clear to me that more patients than I had expected lack proper health care resources and/or health education.  Getting to converse with patients and family members and hearing their health care experiences made me realize that understanding public health is critical to being a successful healthcare provider.

What first sparked your interest in community service?
From a young age I was taught the importance of helping others.  What really sparked my interest in community service was when I had the opportunity in high school to go to inner-city elementary schools to help tutor young students.  It was a great experience to work closely with the same few kids for a year at a time.  I was able to watch their desire to learn grow as we worked together to conquer some of their tough curriculum concepts.  So much joy and personal growth can come from being able to improve lives and connect with community members no matter the differences in socioeconomic and racial backgrounds.  I hope to forever continue serving in my community one way or another.

What about Philadelphia excites you the most?
I am most excited to explore all of the rich history that is here in Philadelphia. 

What’s your favorite food?
Chocolate and Bananas