Coordinator of the Month: Katherine Torres | February 2020
Name: Katherine Torres
Hometown: Baytown, Texas
College Attended / Graduating Class / Major: University of Houston-Clear Lake, Class of 2019, Criminal Justice and Criminology
HealthCorps School Placement / City / State: Yates High School in Houston, Texas
Fun Fact: Aside from my career, I am also a makeup artist!
Question #1: Why did you choose HealthCorps?
HealthCorps is an organization that promotes wellness amongst the youth population and their community. I have dedicated so much of my time/studies to working with youth who have experienced various forms of trauma and other at-risk populations. HealthCorps brings actual resources and information into the high schools that is designed to boost their well-being and improve their lifestyles. For these reasons, I am 100% supportive of what HealthCorps mission is about and I am so excited to be a part of an organization that empowers youth.
Question #2: What role do you play in your school(s) beyond “HealthCorps Coordinator”?
I am the translator, the community activist, the extra counselor, the juvenile justice liaison, and a few more things. There is a growing Hispanic population in our community and this HealthCorps coordinator happens to be the only Spanish speaking individual on campus for now so that is a great resource I am able to provide to the school. I have helped glue together program resources through HealthCorps, TAPS Academy, and even the Houston Police Department.
Question #3: What have you learned during your placement so far? What has surprised you most?
I have learned that having even just one supportive member can change the game of growth of productivity. I have been surprised to see the progress made since stepping foot into my campus.
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?
The advice I would give to those individuals are to constantly remind yourself AND your students that healthy living can be easy and it can be fun! And to find resources and organizations in your community with the same spirit as you to create a support system to help spread your mission and reach your goals.
Question #5: What advice do you have for future Coordinators or anyone looking to join health-related fields?
To those in the future: Always remind yourself that what you are doing is a form of empowerment and strength in the life of a child or youth. It is very rewarding to be able to mentor students over how they can improve their lives because, even though you might not see it, the student grows more aware within themselves mentally and physically.
Question #6: What do you plan to pursue after your placement, and how is your time with HealthCorps helping you achieve that goal?
I plan to pursue a career in juvenile justice related to advocacy, case managing, counseling, etc. I am passionate about working with youth who have fallen or are on the brink of falling into the justice system. Working with HealthCorps helps me have that constant interaction with youth and encourages me to help them make improvements in their lives mentally and physically. I am learning more about mentoring, managing, and organization more than ever before and this is truly the greatest stepping stone towards my career.