As my S.O.U.L journey in Rochester comes to an end, I have had the opportunity to volunteer at St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center which is an all encompassing health clinic for the underinsured and uninsured within the community. My time at the Clinic has been incredible, and I have had the opportunity to see how one of the four pillars of S.O.U.L., Community, ties into the clinic.

The Clinic not only focuses on providing care in specialties ranging from psychiatry to podiatry, but they are an integral part in knowing and welcoming each and every community member. As an out-of-towner I was immediately welcomed into their community by warm and gracious greetings.

As the staff learned more about me, and I them they learned that I am a biology pre-med major and pursuing a medical degree and they willingly and excitedly arranged time in my 9 a.m. -4:30 p.m. work day to allow me to shadow one of the Clinics Nurse Practitioners, Michael Brennan and a MD that recently graduated from medical school, Dr. Mitch Burke, as they saw & interacted with patients, which I am ever so grateful to have had the opportunity to do!

As my week continued I aided in various tasks that helped with the daily functioning of the center such as sorting of records, calling organizations, packaging donated pastries and bread from Panera for patients who are in need, writing letters, completing PR projects, etc. I witnessed acts of generosity, selflessness, compassion & zeal.

I have truly enjoyed this mission trip and being with my group as well as the Sisters of St. Joseph that we stayed with.

This has been an experience that I have been humbly blessed by & I am glad that I had the opportunity to meet the Sisters and many others during my stay here as well as learning, laughing & growing with my group members.