I’m sure you have heard that college is a time to branch out, explore new interests, and meet new people. A great way to do this is to join different clubs and organizations on campus. But how are you supposed to do this on top of juggling the transition to college, school work, and social life, you ask me? Trust me, it’s possible! Especially with covered grades* first semester freshman year. With more than 400 clubs and organizations at Hopkins, it was really easy to get involved in those that interested me. This blog is dedicated to the various clubs and organizations I’m involved in, both on and off campus.

Health Leads

Description: Health Leads is a great nonprofit and student-led organization that works with low-income individuals of the Baltimore community who require access to community resources, such as housing, food, health, insurance, employment etc. Our mission as an organization is to bridge the gap in the health care system by addressing the social determinants of health. Every Wednesday I take the JHMI to the hospital and volunteer at the Health Leads Desk at the Harriet Lane Clinic for three hours and follow-up with clients throughout the week.

What I’ve learned: Through my involvement in this organization, I have come to learn more about the healthcare system in the United States and the various community resources in Baltimore. I now have experience in helping people apply for Section 8 housing and Medicaid, know which days food pantries are open and how to obtain medical transportation assistance. Due to the need to verify the availability of certain resources and constant communication between patients, doctors, and social workers, my communication and organization skills have definitely improved. Health Leads has encouraged me to be creative and think of alternative solutions. I have also come to build relationships with these families and it’s been an amazing experience to see how my job as a Health Leads Advocate has helped me to impact their lives by addressing all aspects of their health.

Student Admissions Advisory Board (SAAB)

Description: The Student Admissions Advisory Board is made up of a group of awesome current students dedicated to providing a candid representation of everyday life on the Homewood campus. Through blog posts and the management of the different Hopkins Insider social media sites (Facebook, Instragram, Twitter, Tublr, Youtube), we hope to connect prospective and current students to the everyday going-ons of the university and student life on campus.

What I’ve learned: Thanks to SAAB I have been able to share my Hopkins experience with current and prospective students. It’s also given me the excuse to take pictures of literally EVERYTHING. We also have the opportunity to share our input with the admissions office in order to ensure that prospective students have a great experience at Hopkins.

Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team

Description: If you’ve been reading my blogs, I’m sure you’ve heard about the Blue-Footed Boobies, the women’s ultimate team on campus. It is made up of about twenty students from all years and skill-levels. We come together three times a week to practice and compete in at least two tournaments a semester against other schools in the Mid-West.

What I’ve learned: This team has become a source of never-ending laughter, fun, and support for me since I moved to Hopkins. You know the saying “those who sweat together, eat together, jam in a car together, and share clothes stay together” (it’s a saying somewhere, I’m sure). I have met some of my closest friends on this team and have gotten to learn and love the game.

Circle K

 Description: Circle K is a community service organization dedicated to connecting Hopkins students and the Baltimore community through service. (Think college version of Key Club). Throughout the semester, we are required to fulfill 15 hours of service. Some of my favorite events have been making lunch/dinner at the Children’s House at Johns Hopkins, a housing program for families whose children are receiving care at the hospital and tutoring inner-city elementary/middle school aged boys in math and reading with Boys in Action.

What I’ve learned: I’ve become familiar with different community service opportunities around the city and am van-certified as a result of this organization.

Student Worker for Total Child Health

 Description: I am a student worker for Total Child Health, a company that seeks to improve the mental and physical health of children, specifically through their web-based platform called CHADIS. My job is to translate pre-visit questionnaires from English to Spanish. Most physician-patient interactions are limited to 15-30 minute office visits; therefore, once physicians are done asking preliminary questions to assess the situation, there is little time left to address other health-related problems. The pre-visit questionnaires on CHADIS allow physicians to make the most out of the short office visits with patients. I also had the privilege to play a small part in their research of mental, behavioral and developmental health in children through interview transcriptions.

 What I’ve learned: It’s definitively been a great experience working for Total Child Health as a work study student, because it gives me the chance to apply the six years of Spanish I’ve learned (I’m also minoring in Spanish) and taught me to manage my time more efficiently. Since I work from my dorm, it has definitely helped to set aside blocks of time throughout the week dedicated to work.

*Covered grades means that classes first semester are pass/fail and the actual letter grade does not appear on your official transcript (only you can view your uncovered grades and GPA on your myJHU portal). This is to aid incoming students get acclimated to college and explore the different opportunities the university has to offer.