BHCHP is incredibly lucky to work with AmeriCorps Fellows who are passionate about embodying our mission of service to one of Boston’s most vulnerable population. Since 2006, we have had a wonderful partnership with the AmeriCorps program, hosting up to 13 fellows per year. Fellows are embedded across all facets of our organization’s work and their contributions remain invaluable. This fall, we’re excited to welcome another cohort of fellows to our work and community-at-large! Below, three of our outgoing fellows reflect on their AmeriCorps experience with BHCHP – enjoy the read.
As an AmeriCorps member at BHCHP, I learned the type of medical provider I want to be. I’m grateful for my year as a Behavioral Health and Dental Clinic Care Coordinator. I worked with great patients and providers, helping folks with concerns ranging from dental anxiety to social security struggles. Outreach also proved fulfilling. I prepared education materials for youth sites, day centers, and more. Throughout the experience, I felt welcomed by BHCHP staff and impressed by their skill. I am eager to complete my undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona, apply for medical school, and hopefully return to BHCHP as a physician.
— Zoe Benson
Being an AmeriCorps member in the Transgender Program at Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program has been such an exciting and rewarding experience for me. I feel like I’ve grown so much over the past two years serving with this team and am so grateful for all of my coworkers and patients who have taught me about caring for the trans community. One of my favorite things about working in this program is that each day feels new and surprising. Our patients face many complex obstacles in navigating through medical systems and working with other government agencies. Serving as a care coordinator has required me to be creative with problem solving and has equipped me with the skills to adapt to rapidly evolving fields like transgender care and addiction treatment.
I feel that the AmeriCorps program at BHCHP has offered me such a unique opportunity to immerse myself in the work of serving marginally housed and homeless folks in our community. I’ve become so much more aware of the challenges and inequities that our patients face on a daily basis. Despite these challenges, it is very rewarding to be an agent for change through this organization and feel like I’m able to take tangible steps in improving the lives of our patients. It is so worthwhile when a patient finally receives housing after years on a waitlist, is granted a name change order, or finds community among their peers. The AmeriCorps program here is such a hands-on experience and I felt I was able to build genuine and trusting relationships with many patients in our program. I will miss attending our lively support group and talking with community members at our local events. I’m very excited to be continuing my journey with BHCHP next year and can’t wait to see what’s to come!
— Claire Burns
Serving as an AmeriCorps with BHCHP was one of the most valuable and rewarding experiences I have had! I got to learn first-hand about the variety of health disparities and challenges that people in our community face each day, while being able to work directly with patients to make a positive impact on their daily lives. Beyond learning about the many services and programs BHCHP offers, I was able to connect with and utilize other amazing resources in our community too. One of the other great things about our AmeriCorps roles is that we had the opportunity to be directly involved in BHCHP initiatives and contribute to team and program-wide improvements.
My favorite part of my service was being able to form relationships with patients. Getting to know them as people and hear their stories made a lasting impact on me and shaped how I approach the world. I feel much more well-equipped going into medical school having had this experience, and know that it will improve the care I provide as a future physician.
— Jessica Cauley