Wow! I can’t believe it was a year from now that I decided to venture across the country to California to work as an AmeriCorps VISTA for Communities and Health Professionals Together. Although I knew I wanted the position after I interviewed for it, when it was offered to me I actually only had a few hours to make a final decision! What a scary whirlwind those hours were!
But I believe I made the right choice. Working for CHPT and AmeriCorps VISTA has certainly had its ups and downs, but it has been a great experience working with an organization with such admirable goals.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with such inspiring people throughout my time here. I would not have been able to do the work that I did without the unbelievable support of the many people in both the UC Davis community and the Rancho Cordova community.
The most memorable project that I worked on this year was without doubt the Outdoor Aquatics Camp project this summer. Although it was a ton of work, it was incredibly rewarding to give disadvantaged kids a summer camp experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives. Working with the Adolescent Parent Yoga project to bring yoga to teen parents as well as increasing health access to those kids by having pediatric physicians there to discuss infant health in a comfortable setting was also incredibly rewarding.
One thing that I have learned throughout my time at CHPT, and something that I will take with me throughout my professional life, is that it truly takes a whole collaborative community to ensure health in a community. That is why I think CHPT’s goals are so important, there are so many resources in the community for health, for doctors to become advocates and partners with these resources is a powerful thing.
Next for me, I will be taking a road trip across this awesome country back to my hometown and will then move into Brooklyn, NY in January 2014. I just found out I’ve been accepted into the NYC Teaching Collaborative program. The program stipulates that I make a commitment to teach science in high needs schools across NYC for 4 years and in turn I receive teaching support as well as admissions into a subsidized Masters program at St. Johns University. I’m incredibly excited for this new chapter in my life and I believe my connections and experience working here was instrumental in my admissions! So thank you!
Finally, I just hope that with my time here I was able to help work to break down the systematic barriers that people in poverty go up against everyday. I believe that CHPT is an amazing program because it is aware of those institutional barriers and is dedicated to fighting against it. I wish nothing but good things for CHPT and their partner communities in the future. Happy Holidays!