New Generation Health Center Newsletter | Winter 2010
New Generation Health Center has big aspirations, but with a small staff it is challenging to implement our great ideas without the invaluable work of these young women. AmeriCorps interns bring a fresh perspective and a drive to learn. Just out of college, they are eager to apply 4 years of classroom learning to real world settings. They arrive with sharpened talents and heightened ambitions to make an impact on the lives of others. New Generation Health Center provides an ideal environment to hone their skills, impart their ideals, and identify their professional interests.
We asked our interns to share some information about themselves and their experiences at New Generation Health Center.
Why did you join the AmeriCorps program?
Jessica Chen: I joined AmeriCorps because the program allows me to go into community clinics to work directly with clients. NGHC was one of the sites listed and I knew about the great work that is done here. Most important to me is working in clinics where I know my efforts are valued and needed. I see how much is being done and a lot of clients are being served.
Why did you choose your placement at New Generation Health Center?
Erin Rayburn: I knew that I wanted to work with teenagers around family planning because of my experiences as a teenager. I was lucky because I had support and was provided information, and I wanted to give that to someone else. It isn't easy to get that, especially for the teenagers who are served here. Patients' education about health and family planning is low, and access to information can be a problem.
What interests you most about NGHC programs?
Jessica Chen: The area that most interests me is the family planning services. And I enjoy participating in the outreach that is done to the most vulnerable schools and to the neediest students. Youth are more likely to seek services if they know that there is a safe place like New Generation Health Center.
What are the biggest issues for youth?
Jessica Chen: Having someone listen to them and genuinely care about them. It's an important time for them to build relationships – especially with adults or positive role models.
Erin Rayburn: Finding confidential services can be hard for teens who don't feel comfortable going to their parents. They lack information on when you can get pregnant and how you get pregnant and how you get a sexually transmitted disease. You get questions about sitting on toilet seats and other false information that you have to address. They need a place where they can get accurate information and feel safe to ask questions.
What do you hope to take away from your experience here?
Jessica Chen: I'd like to better understand the obstacles that youth face, especially when it comes to leading healthier lives. I am also seeing different strategies that are used in interventions. I'd also like to learn how to counsel in order to be able to build relationships with youth.
Erin Rayburn: I have learned a lot, especially from the family planning clinicians. I want to go into women's health, so this experience is really applicable. We work with populations that I rarely had been exposed to and this has hugely expanded my comfort zone. I have learned about the health care system and how clinics run - what is effective, especially when seeing a lot of patients quickly. Being on the front lines I have had to see patients quickly and deliver information in ways that relate to our teenagers.
We are grateful for Erin & Jessica's contributions. They have served in diverse areas including community relations, outreach and education, and clinical service provision. We look forward to watching them blossom personally and professionally, and there is no doubt that their time with us will help New Generation Health Center continue to thrive.
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