My name is Julia and I am an AmeriCorps VISTA working as an opioid outreach coordinator with Count It! Lock It! Drop It! I am 22 years old and originally from Worcester, Massachusetts. I went to the University of South Carolina for undergrad for my B.S in public health. After living in South Carolina for 4 years, my love for country music and no more winter kept me in the south! I love being so close to Nashville, but I miss being closer to the beach which is my favorite place to be.
Why I chose to be a VISTA
I chose to be a VISTA for a lot of reasons. The main one being I didn’t know exactly what in the public health realm I wanted to do. VISTA had many public health-related opportunities, and so I wanted to get experience in my field while taking a gap year before furthering my education. Another reason was that I always loved to volunteer and give back, so it was kind of the best of both worlds (Hannah Montana 4ever). The education stipend was also a positive factor!
What I do
My title is opioid outreach coordinator. I research ways to improve CLD, research the opioid epidemic and help run the social media pages.
What I like about it
My favorite part is working with coalitions in our area. Going to trainings and community meetings, following their social media and seeing all the great things they are doing. I love seeing how passionate these people are about opioid misuse prevention and hearing how their partnerships have come together to fight this epidemic.
What I don’t like about it
The pay is low, but I also wish I could work more directly with people instead of capacity building!!
My plans for after my service
I’m currently applying to grad schools to get my MPH in community health, but I’m also looking into doing Peace Corps, or maybe another year with AmeriCorps, and also applying to other public health jobs… I’m indecisive. Just exploring all options at this point!