1) Location. NHC Florida is located in Jacksonville, so think warmth. In my opinion we are in a prime area because we get to be in Florida but it doesn’t take hours to leave Florida, like it would if we were further into the state. Members will be able to travel to surrounding states as well as travel to the numerous amazing places within the state of FL.
2) Experience. Leaving college is a stressful thing, even more so if you aren’t sure what you want to do next. Being in NHC allows members to have a year of valuable, real-world experience while taking some extra time to figure out what’s next.
3) Opportunity. I often think about what I would be doing if I weren’t in NHC FL and realize all the opportunities I would have missed out on. Choosing Florida as your program site allows members the opportunity to be a part of some of the best non-profit organizations in North Florida. Also, once members have completed the program many other opportunities are expected to follow. If that’s finding a job in the area or continuing your education right after. Being able to say that you were a National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps member will open up a lot of opportunities.
4) Cost of Living
. If you do your research on rent in the state of Florida, Jacksonville has some of the cheapest rent. Compared to the other program locations, members will get the most out of their bi-weekly living allowance with NHC Florida.
5) Host Site Options. Jacksonville is full of nonprofits!! The city even converted the old city library building into a nonprofit hub. This is great for you because that means our host sites are the best! There are a bunch of new clinical positions but also amazing positions that aren’t clinical. There is literally something for everyone.
6) Networking. Host sites provide an unlimited amount of opportunities that allow members to form connections with many different organizations. I personally have a container full of buisness cards that come in handy when needing to find presenters for education classes at my host site. You never know who you will end up talking to at an event and where that connection may lead you.
7) Education Award.
Once members complete the 46 week NHC program they will receive a $6,095 education award. This can be used to help pay off student loans or be put towards future education expenses. We all know how expensive college is so any money to go towards it will be extremely helpful.
8) Loan forbearance. Once you leave college the student loan bills start coming, but when you are serving with NHC FL you can apply for loan forbearance. This is extremely helpful considering most college graduates do not go straight into a well paying job so paying student loan bills right after college may seem impossible.
9) Support Team Away From Home.
Moving across country can be a scary thing for some, but you aren’t alone. There will be 20+ individuals coming from all areas of the country to Jacksonville for the same program as you. The support you receive from the other members will be beneficial if you need help at your host site or if you just need to vent about life. Another plus to being in a program where people come from all over is that once the program is done you will have connections in some pretty awesome places.
10) Make a Difference. The greatest benefit from being in NHC FL is that we truly are making a difference in the community. Members are placed in organizations to fill a need in their organizations. In other words, the services that members provide to the community would most likely not be met if there wasn’t a member there. On top of serving at host sites, members volunteer at other local organizations where they often create relationships with the community members.
This blog post was written by NHC FL AmeriCorps member, Lauren Kroeger.
Lauren serves at Baptist- Social Responsibility Department as a Health Educator.