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Using VISTA to clarify my professional goals
Katie Rodriguez
By Katie Rodriguez, AmeriCorps VISTA Marion County
 
I have had many great experiences as a result of my VISTA year. These experiences have helped mold my professional vision and future career path. Before starting VISTA, I had a certain vision of what public health embodied, and I now have a clearer and more precise idea of where my ambitions fall in that spectrum.
 
I have been introduced to a wide variety of health professionals and have gotten an insiders view of what they do every day.
 
I have had the great opportunity to experience many different settings that include: helping out with immunization and TB clinics at the county jail, farmworker housing, and local homeless shelters, writing policies, organizing outreach, and facilitating community-wide collaboration efforts.
 
I have enjoyed participating and becoming a part in helping out the local community. Meeting and creating relationships with the health professionals that are dedicated to this work has been invaluable. I have gained confidence in my abilities to take on the challenges that are presented to our communities on a daily basis.
 

Poverty is a vicious cycle that affects too many. Everyone deserves access to healthy opportunities. Through this experience I have learned that providing this access is not always easy, it takes a lot of dedication, ambition, and many, many willing individuals. 

Next: A look back at my VISTA year

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