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: Laura Ramsdell
Service Term: 2015-2016
Host Site: River Region Human Services
Laura chose to serve in her hometown of Jacksonville, just a few miles from her high school – a move that ultimately inspired her to step outside of her comfort zone. While being in her hometown provided familiarity, she noticed quickly that many fellow AmeriCorps members were from many different parts of the country, providing them with a completely different experience: new town, new people and a fresh outlook.
“I felt slightly envious of the opportunity other members were having because I began to see people as a living resource of knowledge,” Laura said.
Before joining AmeriCorps, the concept of moving out of Jacksonville seemed impossible and scary to Laura, but during her time in the program she developed a new desire to leave the safety net of her neighborhood. She stayed with River Region Human Services after her service term in order to complete an internship for school. After she graduated with a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling, Laura packed and moved her entire life to Richmond, Virginia where she works in the behavioral health and substance abuse field. Last month, she bought snow boots, something she never once thought she would do.