Jordan Lindsay-Morris and Ngozi Eneogwe both want to pursue careers in public health and recognized that the Illinois Public Health Association’s AmeriCorps program would provide them with the experience they wanted. AmeriCorps is a program of the federal government engaging adults in intensive community service work with the goal of helping others and meeting critical needs in the community.
March 9 through 13 is celebrated as National AmeriCorps Week. Each year during AmeriCorps Week, the commitment of AmeriCorps members and alums is recognized by highlighting the extraordinary impact AmeriCorps makes across our nation every day. The IPHA AmeriCorps program is working to strengthen the field of public health through the development of skilled and committed leaders.
Jordan of Joliet had served as an emergency medical technician and licensed paramedic for 14 years when she decided to switch careers. Looking for a new challenge, she pursued and recently received her Masters of Public Health degree from Benedictine University.
“My passion is prevention and health promotion,” she said.
Now on a full-time AmeriCorps program for 11 months, Jordan has been involved in a variety of Health Department initiatives, including the Healthy Places Coalition’s radon awareness campaign, infant mortality, tobacco prevention and health equity.
Ngozi graduated from Northern Illinois University in December 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health. As she wanted to gain public health experience before pursuing a higher degree, she joined AmeriCorps and signed on with the Kane County Health Department as a community health specialist, health educator.
“What excites me about my position is one day I’m working on improving child development screening data and the next day I’m helping to implement the Tobacco Quit Line for healthcare providers,” she said.
Ngozi, from Oak Park, is planning to return to school for her Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in Public Health. She will be with the Health Department in a part-time capacity for eight months.
Together, Jordan and Ngozi will be participating in the volunteer program at the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry. Full time AmeriCorps members receive a small living allowance at $12,100 for the 1,700 hours devoted to the 11-month term and $5,550 for further education. Health insurance is available for those who are not otherwise covered during their term of service, and a child care subsidy is available to income-eligible, full time members. Part-time members will receive $3,500 for a minimum of 450 hours and an education award of $1,468. Full-time and part-time members do not have to pay back student loans while serving.
To learn more about the AmeriCorps Program in Illinois and how to join, please visit www.serve.illinois.gov.
SOURCE: Kane County Health Department