Coordinator of the Month: Jasmine Martinez | April 2020
Consider supporting Coordinators, like Jasmine, who are providing for those impacted by COVID-19.
Name: Jasmine Martinez
Hometown: Ontario, CA
College Attended / Graduating Class / Major: Cal Poly Pomona, Class of 2019, B.S. Kinesiology – Health Promotion
HealthCorps School Placement / City / State: Hope Through Housing Foundation, San Bernardino County, CA
Fun Fact: My goal is to visit all 58 national parks in the United States.
Question #1: Why did you choose HealthCorps?
HealthCorps truly keeps the health and happiness of our communities at the forefront of their efforts. Being a HealthCorps program coordinator allows you to work towards that mission, while also allowing you to play the part of multiple roles. What I love most is that how you play those roles is completely up to you and what your community needs. There’s so much creative freedom with this position, and your strengths are highlighted in the process. Because of that, I feel that I’ve grown tremendously from my time as a coordinator both personally and professional.
Question #2: What role do you play in your school(s) beyond “HealthCorps Coordinator”?
At my sites I play the role of chef, “health lady,” teen club facilitator, friend, mentor, and more. Since my placement is within affordable housing communities, the role I’ve found myself playing the most has been acting as a bridge between the different members of the communities. Not only has my programming involved residents sharing conversations of health with one another, but in doing so they’ve also had the opportunity to interact with their neighbors that come from different generations and backgrounds. This has been most helpful with building a culture of wellness at my sites.
Question #3: What have you learned during your placement so far? What has surprised you most?
What’s surprised me most during my placement is how the best things have often happened naturally. So long as you embody the HealthCorps mission and share that with others, you’ll find you’re making an impact in ways that you hadn’t thought you would or would be possible. Simply by making yourself available and expressing a genuine care for others creates a space for those naturally impactful moments to happen. That being said, trust the process.
Question #4: What advice would you give to teachers, parents, communities, etc. who are looking to create more programming focused on healthy living for their students?
Meet your audience where they’re at and empower them to voice themselves. It’s easy to share facts about healthy living, but how those facts impact your audience depends on their own needs and interests. Take the time to listen to them and offer leadership opportunities for them to empower their peers. By normalizing conversations of health and making it relevant to everyone involved, you’ll begin to notice a gradual change.
Question #5: What advice do you have for future Coordinators or anyone looking to join health-related fields?
Don’t be afraid to fail fast. In the process of failing, you’re learning so much and will only continue to grow. Take the time to try different things, make mistakes, and learn about yourself, your strengths, and interests. Also, be sure to trust yourself and know that no action is too small to make an impact. If you have a genuine passion for health and the wellness of your community, you’re sure to make some impact in one way or another.
Question #6: What do you plan to pursue after your placement, and how is your time with HealthCorps helping you achieve that goal?
I’ve yet to make specific plans for my future because I’m a big believer in things happening for a reason and you ending up where you belong. Also, if there’s anything that I’ve learned from my time with HealthCorps, it’s that you can’t limit yourself. As I’ve learned more about the needs of the communities that I serve, I’ve also realized that these are not unique to my region. Health promotion is my passion, and there’s a need for it in all corners of the world. Whether it be in worksite health promotion, program planning, policy, or elsewhere, I’d be happy to continue making an impact for others.