Coordinator of the Month: Rocio Jacobo
Name: Rocio Jacobo
Hometown: I am originally from Michoacan, Mexico, which I consider my native and permanent hometown. My parents currently live in Dalton, Georgia, which has become my home in the U.S.
College Attended / Major: Health: Science, Society, and Policy at Brandeis University.
HealthCorps School Placement: Desert Hot Springs High School in Desert Hot Springs, California.
Fun Fact: I have a very wide array of interests. I love the outdoors, painting, exploring new places, cooking, and reading. Recently, I adopted a sweet puppy, Milo, started to teach myself how to play the guitar, and have a blast trying to dominate some salsa (the dance, not the food) moves. I’m always open to suggestions on how to improve these skills, especially that dog training!
Jeffrey Hartinger: How did you become involved with HealthCorps?
Rocio Jacobo: As a senior in College, I found out about HealthCorps through Jermyn Addy, a former coordinator and college friend. I loved my college major and knew I wanted to gain hands-on experience in the public health sector before enrolling in graduate school.
As I (Rocio Jacobo) researched more about HealthCorps’ mission, I realized it coincided with my professional as well as personal goals.
JH: What has been the highlight of your placement so far?
RJ: Wow! I don’t think I can pick just one, but one that especially stands out is working with my Wellness Council. Last year, we set high expectations for our group and worked together to encourage the school community to make our first annual “Golden Eagles 5K Run/Walk for Life” happen. We had close to 80 participants, 40 volunteers, and raised almost $1,000. I was really impressed and grateful for how the school came together to engage the greater community.
As volunteers, we had a teacher as our D.J. as well as coaches and students from track and field, softball, ROTC, wrestling, volleyball, Interact Club, the Public Safety Academy and our Student Body.
Altogether, the event reflected the strong sense of community and the power of teamwork. The second annual “Golden Eagles 5K Run/Walk for Life” will take place March 15th this year!
JH: Outside of the classroom, what are some of the activities that you are involved with?
RJ: I like to invest my time outside of the classroom reaching out to students, staff members, and parents through fun and informative programs. I am responsible for the Cooking Club on campus, which incorporates Teen Battle Chef in the spring. This year, I started a Healthy Lifestyles Club, which hosts “Insanity” at the DHS Community and Wellness Center once a week. For staff, I coordinate weekly yoga and zumba sessions as well as bimonthly healthy cooking workshops. To reach out to parents, I work closely with the Parent Center on campus and community organizations to offer bimonthly parent workshops that promote nutrition, physical fitness, and/or mental resilience.
JH: What do you plan to pursue after your service to HealthCorps is complete?
RJ: I am very passionate about public health and dentistry; therefore, I plan on attending dental school and/or graduate school to pursue a Master’s in Public Health.
JH: What is one thing you have learned from your placement that you will be able to carry with you as you move forward in life?
RJ: I have gained a greater appreciation for the art of communication. As a coordinator, I have had the opportunity to interact with various groups of individuals—students, parents, community leaders, staff members, etc. In order to effectively influence them with my passion for HealthCorps’s mission and gain their support, I have learned that it’s important to be able to ‘speak their language.’
Not that you have to be bilingual or trilingual, but that you have to truly listen, become aware, and respect who they are culturally, personally, and socioeconomically. By genuinely doing so, you are able to gain their trust and establish solid relationships. Effective communication is definitely crucial in our role as coordinators. It’s an art that I’m still working on.
We want to thank Rocio Jacobo for her exceptional work and congratulate her for being this month’s coordinator of the month.