"I fell in love with this city that is slowly, but always improving."
Hometown: Lebanon, IN
Educational background: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics for University of North Florida, currently enrolled in a Master’s of Public Health program at the University of North Florida with a concentration in Epidemiology.
Host Site: Tobacco Free Jacksonville
What is your title and role at your host site?
As a Health Educator at Tobacco Free Florida, I will be working as the Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) program facilitator. I will be responsible for coordinating activities of SWAT clubs in Duval schools. I’ll be working with schools and after-school youth community programs on tobacco prevention education and youth leadership skill development.
Why did you join the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program?
I moved to Jacksonville, Florida when I was 16 from the Midwest. I’ve been here for the last 5 years and have had the opportunity to do some nutrition education with some of the youth from the city. I fell in love with this city that is slowly, but always improving. Mother Theresa said “Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta…” and I think that North Florida is where I want to be for now, helping the community and witnessing the changes that can be made here. I’ll be enrolled in an MPH program at the local University here and I’m hoping to use my education and this experience with NHC Florida to move forward with that goal.
What are you hoping to gain from your year of service?
Over the summer of 2017, I took a summer AmeriCorps position in Alamosa, Colorado. My short experience here has been so humbling and moving. Through AmeriCorps, I was able to make a difference in many peoples’ lives and meet fellow AmeriCorps members from all over the country. I hope gain the same personal growth during my time of service with the National Health Corps Florida program while also completing my master’s degree and staying close to home. I also hope to find a concentration in a career in public health that will be fulfilling and motivate me.
What are your plans after AmeriCorps service?
To finish school and hopefully make some Public Health connections through my time in this program that allow me to stay working in Jacksonville.
Where do you envision yourself in 5 years?
I have a goal to eventually move out west and work to address the problems with drug use and homelessness in big cities on the west coast. I hope to have graduated and established my career in Jacksonville by this point.