National Blog

I try my best to make each day a little better for vulnerable youth. Serving at a place like JASMYN and coming face-to-face with the consequences of everyday cruelty, ignorance, and bigotry makes it impossible for you not to acknowledge the privileges you’ve been given just by virtue of your own birth.
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One thing I had hoped to gain from my service term as a National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps member was techniques on how to better support the people I serve. My experiences with the National Health Corps have equipped me with the skills to develop and implement effective community-based health interventions, a skill I am sure I will carry with me into my future education and career.
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"To me, Paige is a reminder of many things: that the barriers to good health that individuals face are real and damaging and constantly reinforced by society and those in power, that organizations like Birmingham, and the rest of the NHC host sites, although they are underfunded and understaffed, can provide people with small but effective ways to overcome these barriers, and that resilience, kindness, and optimism, although they may be at times hard to find, are what we need most."
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I can’t do anything about the complex societal factors making my students “high risk” for violence, and sometimes I feel helpless when I see the barriers preventing me from reaching them. It is frustrating when kids dismiss what I have to say. But even though I can’t change my students’ friends, their schools, their families, or their communities, I can listen. I can answer questions and address doubts. And I can hope they’re listening to me too.
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