I’m a proud AmeriCorps alumni having served my 2015-16 service term in National Health Corps (NHC) Florida. I appreciate the challenges and the successes that I had as an AmeriCorps member that year and feel that I have come to know the true meaning of service to the community. Upon completing my term in Jacksonville, Florida I moved to Texas and found work in a hospital as a bilingual patient advocate. I helped uninsured patients apply for programs like Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and charity programs. Not too long after that I returned home to work as a benefits specialist for an outreach program at a local hospital. There I did street outreach to homeless members of the community with severe persistent mental illness and linked them to services through case management. The aim of the program was to eventually get these individuals housed.
So why have I returned to NHC for a second time? Well I’m looking to make a career change. I’m an aspiring nurse who is looking to get more involved in the patient care aspect of things this time around. I’m looking forward to my role as a Health Educator this service term. I’m excited about leading educational workshops and breaking the stigma around HIV/AIDS. I will be providing counseling and testing services for the first time and helping newly diagnosed patients get connected to community resources. This will also be my first time in Chicago so I can’t wait to discover all of the awesome things that the Windy City has to offer.
This blog post was written by NHC Chicago 2018-19 member Olga Mabolia.
Olga will be a Health Educator at Erie Family Health Center- Humboldt Park.