Michigan's AmeriCorps Member of the Month
During her last year at Aquinas College, Sara Scott discovered the perfect opportunity that would help her gain experience in her two main career interests of serving within a health care setting and utilizing her Spanish language skills. Sara applied and was accepted to the Cherry Health AmeriCorps program, where she currently serves as a full-time AmeriCorps member at the Burton Health Center in Grand Rapids.
The Cherry Health AmeriCorps program utilizes 30 full-time AmeriCorps members to provide various resources and support to underserved populations, including access to healthy food, assistance with health insurance enrollment, health education and wellness promotion, medical interpretation for patients with limited English proficiency, and community outreach. AmeriCorps members also participate in health-focused community service projects during their service year.
The Burton Health Center is located within a Grand Rapids Public School, and serves a large Spanish speaking population. As an AmeriCorps member, Sara serves a wide range of individuals in a variety of ways. She helps community members and patients enroll in health care coverage and other assistance programs, ensuring they have access to the resources they need to lead healthy lives.
In addition, Sara provides health education through Girls on the Run programming. She utilizes the Girls on the Run curriculum to coach girls on healthy decisions, self-esteem, and, of course, running. Sara served as the liaison between her two teams and the Girls on the Run organization. She also acted as head coach for these teams, which helped her connect with the youth in a unique and positive way. This allowed her the opportunity to not only see the tangible progress participants made from week to week, but also to watch them push themselves and grow more confident.
Sara wholeheartedly believes in improving access to health care services and opportunities, which inspired her to recruit her fellow AmeriCorps team members to help translate the Girls on the Run application to Spanish. The translation of this document has and will continue to allow many more girls to participate in this program, not just in her school, but for the entire Girls on the Run program within Kent and Muskegon counties.
“Her leadership skills are really what makes Sara unique,” stated Cherry Health Assistant AmeriCorps Program Director Randee Broemmel. “Not only does Sara do amazing things within her individual service role, but she also extends herself to do wonderful things for her fellow members. She has helped organize and lead two service projects for the team, paying close attention to details and communication.”