I truly believe helping others is one of the greatest things you can do in life, and the National Health Corps Florida was a fantastic opportunity to do just that.
Educational background: Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from Brown University.
Host Site: Sulzbacher Center
What is your title and role at your host site?
I will be serving as a Case Manager at the Sulzbacher Center. In service of the Sulzbacher Center’s mission of empowering people at risk of or experiencing homelessness to achieve a better life, I will be primarily focused on creating, coordinating, and facilitating health and non-health related education. Whether they be classes, one-on-one tutoring, or workshops, the topics span the gamut and range from nutrition to chronic disease management to computer/digital literacy and much, much more. In addition, I will be providing assistance with enrollment for programs such as SNAP and Lifeline as well as case management for the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) that provides financial assistance to individuals and families in need of stable housing.
Why did you join the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program?
In my life, I've always looked highly upon others who go above and beyond to selflessly volunteer and serve their community. I truly believe helping others is one of the greatest things you can do in life, and the National Health Corps Florida was a fantastic opportunity to do just that. To me, it was the perfect mixture of health-focused and human-centric service work, intentional structure for personal and professional development, and both breadth and depth of public service experiences. The cherry to top it all off was the promise of a community of like-minded individuals passionate about health, enthusiastic about learning with and from others, and eager to help those in need.
What are you hoping to gain from your year of service?
Funny enough, the first thing I thought of when I read the question was what I’d actually like to lose during my year of service: the youthful naivete that comes from a relative lack of first-hand experience. Or rather, the comfortable, but false pretense that you understanding something after four years of lectures and readings that are typically part of an undergraduate education. I want to see with my own eyes the social determinants of health and how they interact with our current healthcare systems to influence individual lives and communities. I want to gain a more complete understanding of the world that you can only get from meeting and sharing stories with people from different walks of life. I want to build upon my foundation of experiences to better understand the ways in which we can support those in need and what needs to be done to improve health and healthcare. Most of all, I’d like to be able to look back at the end of my service and say that I’ve truly made a positive impact on those who have crossed paths with me, even if it is but one person.
What are your plans after AmeriCorps service?
At the time of writing (Summer 2019), I am currently in the process of applying to medical schools. So, if all goes according to plan, I will be packing my bags and headed to medical school where I hope to continue working towards becoming the best and most compassionate physician and educator I can be.
Where do you envision yourself in 5 years?
I’ve never considered myself anything close to an accurate soothsayer, but hopefully I’ll be at the end of my medical school education and transitioning to residency. I’ve always been interested in storytelling, technology, and education as well, so I hope to have laid the foundation for that to be part of a career in health and healthcare.