National Health Corps Florida Blog

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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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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Often times, we take communication for granted. From hearing our alarm clocks telling us that it’s time for us to start our day or being able to tell our family and friends that we love them, communication helps us bond and build community with those around us.
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Serving at an organization that works endlessly to better the health of mothers, babies, and families has been extremely rewarding and has taught me so much. I am enjoying my experience with the Coalition and helping more babies live to see past their first birthday.
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Some say that some things are better left unsaid, but I wholeheartedly disagree. Talking is what made me my first and lifelong friend in college. Talking is what got me to find my passion for baking sourdough. Talking might even save a life. At the very least, I hope it’ll save a few friendships.
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My ultimate goal for this service time is to impact people in the Jacksonville community in a meaningful way. I hope that educating clients about their insurance benefits decreases their stress and improves their health and financial situation. I want clients to develop a strong, positive relationship with exercise through participation in Moving Moms.
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Growing up in Arlington, Virginia, I didn’t come in contact with many individuals experiencing homelessness. Though I know they existed, homeless individuals were not as prevalent or visible in my hometown. On the occasion that I would be approached and asked to spare some change or provide assistance if I could, I used to find myself perplexed and almost paralyzed not really knowing what to do.
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This experience serves as an opportunity to uplift the community; to go beyond the call of duty and guide individuals in need of resources that give them the opportunity to rise above their current life situation. The best way to better inform the individuals I serve is to be aware of the services available that meet their needs and using my fellow AmeriCorps members as resources when possible.
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As AmeriCorps members, we take the pledge to “get things done.” “Getting things done” is the AmeriCorps slogan; it is printed on our lanyards, and it is the hashtag on the AmeriCorps social media posts. My experience with Richard has taught me that “getting things done” is not just about approaching your service with energy and ambition. It is not just about being self-motivated and eager to make a difference. “Getting things done” also requires patience.
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I’ve had the pleasure of meeting people from all over the world and getting to learn about their cultures as we cross paths at the Welcome Center. Our ideas of healthy lifestyles are not always one and the same, as I have learned much about alternative health practices in other countries. For a newcomer, a healthy lifestyle can be difficult to navigate in a country that you are just starting to get familiar with.
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