Coordinator of the Month: Shonique White
Name: Shonique White
Hometown: Detroit, MI
College Attended / Major: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor/ Biomedical Engineering
HealthCorps School Placement: Hoover High School, San Diego, CA
Fun Fact: I’m pretty good at ‘doing voices’: accents, imitating people, affected patterns of speech, things like that.
Jeffrey Hartinger: How did you become involved with HealthCorps?
Shonique White: I had a peer mentor in college a few years ahead of me and we were pursuing the same major, with similar career goals in mind. Following my graduation, I reached out to her to see what she was up to, and she informed me about HealthCorps. I was lucky enough that I had one more day before the deadline to apply! Thanks, Ayanna!
JH: What has been the highlight of your placement so far?
SW: I have a student that is involved with everything concerning HealthCorps, and who I’ve been able to extensively mentor as a result. It’s been an honor to be able to be there for her, to mentor her, to dispel some of the internalized oppression that she was harboring, and to see her grades and overall outlook improve from last year to this one. I’ve watched her realize how capable she is, and it’s been very heartwarming. Even if I (Shonique White) felt like she was the only student that I impacted over my two years, I’d feel like it was worth it.
In addition to that student, Hoover was selected to host the Jaime Oliver Food Revolution Mobile Kitchen on our campus for a month. Not only was it a great addition to my health fair (it was right in the middle of it!) but I was able to coordinate free, easy cooking classes that reached over 150 students. Even though it was a year ago, I still hear staff and students talking about the Food Revolution truck and asking if it can come back for round two!
JH: Outside of the classroom, what are some of the activities that you are involved with?
SW: Like every other coordinator, I’ve been able to run Teen Battle Chef with a small group of students. However our group has been set apart by utilizing a brand new partnership that HealthCorps has with Tender Greens, a restaurant franchise that emphasizes quality food from local producers for affordable prices. We were able to tour one of their locations, and will have one of their chefs teaching a class on flavor theory in the coming weeks.
Additionally, I’ve been able to work with the Aaron Price Fellows Program, providing support for the staff during excursions and activities, and helping to build their cohort for this year. APF provides rising sophomores with the opportunity to get an up close and personal look at government entities, non-profit organizations, and cultural institutions while teaching them to be caring and culturally responsible community members.
JH: What do you plan to pursue after your service to HealthCorps is complete?
SW: Eventually I hope to get into graduate school before pursuing a medical degree. But before I do that, I want to continue to work for a while to save up for medical school.
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?
SW: It has always been important to me to gather as much information as possible before I go in to tackle a problem. This couldn’t have served me better during my time as a HealthCorps Coordinator. I think one of best thing that a coordinator can do, especially when they are brand new in their school is to truly follow the “Learn First” norm. The greatest disservice that could be done for a school in our position is to try to apply a one-size-fits-all solution for the issues that we encounter. Taking the time to learn what the community needs will not only save coordinators precious time and energy, but keeps them well-received and well-loved. Taking the time to learn first has served me well as a coordinator, and is certainly be applicable in life beyond HealthCorps.
We want to thank Shonique White for her exceptional work and congratulate her for being this month’s coordinator of the month.