LYNA - Reproductive Health Educator, Morris Heights School-Based Health Center in the Bronx
Why do you aspire to serve?
Serving others is a rewarding act of kindness that I was taught to do during my upbringing, from both my parents and my church. My parents have had long fulfilling careers, which have allowed them to teach and guide those in my hometown that do not have the same privileges and resources as those on the "other" side of town. The more volunteering I did throughout the years, whether it was through my church or shadowing my parents at work, the more I learned that certain populations are at a disadvantage in our society. Serving others slowly became something I wanted to do rather than asked to do, because I have found great gratification in providing those that are underserved, with the same hope, support and insight, that I've received my whole life, so that they could change and succeed in theirs.
Why did you pick NYC or Upstate NY as your location of service?
For the last four years of my life, during college and a few months after graduation, I was living in a very safe, conservative, and affluent county in California, which in a sense shielded me from the reality of things. Although I studied and read about our societies inequalities, problems, and was involved with clubs and organizations that served those in need, I wasn't satisfied. I decided that I wanted to step outside of my world and challenge myself by taking all of my experiences and everything I learned in school and putting it to the test. NYC is a huge melting pot and major innovator in so many areas and by being amongst the cream of the crop you really challenge yourself and strive to be the best that you can be. I decided that this would be the perfect place for me to find myself and gain experience doing what I love.
How do you spend your free time?
I love exploring and getting lost in this awesome city. I'm all about dividing my weekends to either do really touristy things or finding hidden spots in the many neighborhoods NYC has to offer. I've made it a goal to attend mainstream things here such as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Rockefeller Tree Lighting Ceremony, and watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve in Times Square. When I don't feel like wandering off you can catch me in action dancing in the city's hottest bachata and salsa clubs, checking out books at the public library, or volunteering at my neighborhoods community center.
Personal web site, blog, or a link to the web site of somewhere you volunteer in addition to your site.
Ever since my west to east coast move from CA to NY, I started blogging about my different experiences here in the city. Check it out! http://cagirlinthebigapple.blogspot.com
What are your plans after your year of service?
I want to continue with another year of service through Americorps, so that I could receive more experience before I apply to a graduate program, this coming fall, to pursue an M.A in Latin American Studies/M.P.H. back in California or here in NYC.