Written by Vanessa Ramirez

When I was in high school I was fascinated with the idea of having a career in medicine. My dream career was to be pediatric emergency physician. When I began college in fall 2016 I was determined to

Vanessa Ramirez

make my dreams come true and enrolled in a pre-health program to ensure I was prepared and on track. After some personal experiences, I soon became interested in what city health inspector’s daily tasks were. One day, I did a simple job search and it was from that moment that I fell down the rabbit hole. I then became wrapped up in searches trying to learn if public health was a career that I could pursue with a background in science. With time, I learned that those who work in public health have different backgrounds and education and work together.

I learned that my interest in health and helping others remained the same; the only thing that changed was the method. During my junior year of college I realized I wanted to help community members with prevention. Our body has different defense stages that it goes through when we get sick, and to me, public health is one of the first defense stages our body has. Public health is important because the body wants to help by either eliminating or reducing risks that could lead to serious health issues in the future. Public health is important to me because there is a lot of work that needs to be done to ensure that everybody is safe and healthy. It also needs more representation and recognition, and I believe that if I want to see change it is important that I am involved and speak on the experiences I have gone through to ensure that communities receive the resources they need.

As I was finishing my education I had a volunteer opportunity with 16th St Community Health Clinic, and the program manager I worked with strongly encouraged me to apply for a HealthCorps position to gain more experience since she knew of my strong interest in public health. When I looked through the positions I came across Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin. I read about the tasks and the different initiatives and was surprised to find an organization that focused on public health matters that relate specifically to children and I was very intrigued to learn about all the initiatives that the Alliance works on. I’m thankful and excited to be the HealthCorps member for the year and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store.