Stephen Lu

After finishing my undergraduate degree, I really wanted to do something that combined my passion for health and community service.

Hometown: Delray Beach, FL

Educational background: B.S. in Biological Science with a minor in Chemistry from Florida State University. Second B.S. in Biochemistry from Florida Atlantic University (continuing education).

Host Site: Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center

What is your title and role at your host site? 
I will be serving as an Outreach Coordinator at the Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center (JSHC). In this position, my primary role would be to increase awareness of the JSHC around the greater Jacksonville area by reaching out to numerous healthcare professionals, as well as various organizations, such as social service and military veteran associations. I will be maintaining a consistent flow of updated information to those providers and referral coordinators about the services that the JSHC has to offer. In addition, I will be involved in providing education to low-income/underserved communities about speech/hearing disorders and autism, and conduct audiology screenings in those areas.

Why did you join the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program?
I hold a strong conviction for serving my community and I would love to further those pursuits beyond my local area of service. Through AmeriCorps, I would be able to travel to another part of the country and commit a significant portion of myself to accomplishing solely that mission – rather than treating it as a secondary activity relative to my job or academics. I also believe that it is crucial for me to experience regions of the country different from my own local community in terms of population demographics, such as race, culture, education, and income level. This would allow me to gain a broader, more openminded perspective of our society and its diverse individuals, and hopefully mold me into a better healthcare professional for the future.

What are you hoping to gain from your year of service?
I intend to garner a more profound understanding of the American healthcare delivery system, with particular interest in its role in today’s society – identifying where it is deficient in providing quality, affordable, and widely available health services, and how these areas can be improved. In addition, I
desire to not only gain firsthand experience in working with underserved populations, but also acquire the necessary preparation and training to be effective in carrying out the former task. Towards the end of my service, I hope to be transformed in my perception of how the current healthcare system operates and to have matured into a more compassionate individual, one possessing the knowledge and abilities required to be a more than capable future leader and provider in the healthcare field.

What are your plans after AmeriCorps service?
Hopefully, I will be on the path to applying for Medical School in the 2020-21 application cycle and perhaps commit to another year of service with the National Health Corps during that process!

Where do you envision yourself in 5 years?
In five years, I hope to be finishing up Medical School and applying to/heading into a residency program – preferably in a primary care specialty where I will be able to utilize my knowledge and training to aid those communities in dire need of treatment and medical care services.

Home Town:
Delray Beach, FL