RAUL - Pediatric Health Educator, Morris Heights Health Center in the Bronx
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Why do you aspire to serve?
Service is my way of returning all my good fortune back unto the communities that are trying to raise young, hard working, good people. As the saying goes… it takes a village to raise a child and I believe Americorps has giving me a very fortunate role in this incredibly diverse village that is New York City.
Why did you pick NYC or Upstate NY as your location of service?
I picked New York City, and specifically the Bronx, because I yearned for a completely new perspective on the Latino/Hispanic experience. Being from the West Coast and being raised in a Mexican household gave me a lens that different from those living in the Bronx. Learning from New York’s Dominicanos and Puertorriqueños happens on a daily basis! I now know that:
“Gua gua” does not refer to that famed and much loved convenience store in Philly – it’s just another way of saying bus.
“Arroz con gandules” are just as good as my mother’s arroz rojo!
“un chin de ____” means a tad of something, NOT a Mexican slang
What have you gained from your AmeriCorps experience thus far?
Most of all, I’ve gained a well-rounded picture of the needs of the community and that succeeding in these neighborhoods takes a lot of will power, mentorship, and luck. I’ve learned that helping others is something that I truly enjoy, especially in underserved Latino communities.
How do you spend your free time?
I enjoy traveling to Philadelphia for the weekend where I can enjoy the quiet, serene, and picturesque landscapes of Haverford College. I also hangs out with the coolest of the cool: other HealthCorps members!
Share a favorite hobby/hobbies or interest of yours.
I enjoy reading books, trying new foods/recipes, and listening to live jazz.
Personal web site, blog, or a link to the web site of somewhere you volunteer in addition to your site.
www.newyorkcares.org - Go out and volunteer!
What are your plans after your year of service?
I hope to continue working for another year in a position that gives me an opportunity to help others. Afterwards, I will be applying to grad programs in public health. My dream is to one day attend medical school and serve in Los Angeles and Oaxaca, Mexico.