AmeriCorps Week, a celebration of all things AmeriCorps is March 11-17. Each day, we’re highlighting the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps alumni that have served at various public health-focused nonprofits and government organizations across Northeast Florida since 2004.
The Coalition has supported NHC Florida since its inception and has handled the administrative and fiscal responsibilities of the program since August 2013. NHC Florida alumni continue to successfully grow out of a year of service into careers that both meet their professional goals and personally give back to the community.
Alumna: Nicole Alexander Service Term: 2007-2008
Host Site: Florida Department of Health Duval County – Chronic Disease Prevention
When Nicole applied and was accepted to the National Health Corps Florida program, she wasn’t even sure where in Florida the city of Jacksonville was. She ended up in the program after her first two AmeriCorps sites fell through – setting her on career and life path in a place that is still her home 10 years later.
She had already been accepted into Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine when she decided to take a break from school to gain a better perspective on life and learn medical training based on real-world experiences first.
“I wouldn’t be the doctor I am today without my AmeriCorps experience,” Nicole said.
Through her service at the Florida Department of Health, she gained a better understanding on how built environments and unfair housing policies affected health in the underserved communities. She learned a lot from people with many different backgrounds and stories, and volunteered her time at the Sulzbacher Center and Girls on the Run.
She also met her husband, a Jacksonville native, at a Rotaract Gala at the Jacksonville Public Library. Since completing her service term, she completed medical school and returned to Jacksonville for a residency program in obstetrics at UF Health Jacksonville. She now splits her time between UFNorth and a pediatric and adolescent health clinic at the Elizabeth G Means Clinic, in addition to working as an assistant professor within the department of obstetrics and gynecology at UF Health. She and her husband live in Springfield with their two-year-old daughter and a rescued pitbull.