Alumni Highlights: Jessica Steele
Jessica Steele served at Sacramento Charter High School in Sacramento, CA from 2010- 2012.
What did you do after HealthCorps? What are you doing now because of HealthCorps? What do you plan to do in the future?
After HealthCorps, I returned to school for an MPH in Community Health and Public Health Research Methods. I have continued to work within the realm of education and public health as a result of my time with HealthCorps. I’ve worked as a high school counselor; developed preventive health programs for incarcerated youth on Rikers; and I currently am an Evaluation Manager for Playworks, a national nonprofit that strives to give kids access to safe and healthy play every day. In the future, I hope to run a center that provides adolescent health care and educational/extra curricular programming to underserved young adults.
What was the greatest lesson you learned about creating change in health and wellness in your time with HealthCorps?
While I gained so much from working with HealthCorps, I also realized the limitations of delivering school-based health programs when there are so many structural barriers in place that make “health” difficult to achieve for many communities. It inspired me to go back to school to learn how to affect change on a population level and make programs like HealthCorps even more effective, where they are partnered with strong infrastructure and equitable health and social policies.
What was your favorite moment or memory with a student, staff, or community member during your time as a HealthCorps Coordinator?
Seeing my TBC students at the Highway to Health fair competing against other schools. They were so proud of what they had accomplished and I felt like a proud mama.