Monday, December 12, 2016

Final Volunteer Hours for Fall

December 2016

-Habitat for Humanity: 4 hours
-SciHigh: 3 hours

Fall Semester Totals

-United Way: 4 hours
-Crescent City Cafe: 7 hours
-SciHigh: 9.5 hours
-Habitat for Humanity: 36 hours

-Total Fall Semester: 56.5 hours

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 2016

It’s the holiday season, and we are winding down our first semester. We just finished a short break for Thanksgiving and are beginning the final block covering the GI system. It has been a short five months since the beginning of the program, but the progress has been remarkable. The work has been hard, but I’ve been amazed at how much we’ve accomplished. So far, we’ve learned about countless drugs, numerous techniques in clinical and research medicine, and I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer with four different organizations in Louisiana. It’s been a learning experience settling into the curriculum as well as a new city, but the process has been incredibly rewarding.
This month, I have continued my work with Habitat, where I have worked on building the foundational structure for a new house in East New Orleans as well as finishing the flooring and interior portion of the house I first worked on just three months ago. I was amazed and excited to see how quickly the construction of a new house has come along; it appears the closing process is underway and residents will be able to move in very soon. It’s been a very productive experience to volunteer with Habitat and work on building and renovating homes for individuals or families in need. One of my primary community service goals for volunteering in New Orleans was to help the need for affordable housing within the city, and it’s been fulfilling work to be a part of that with this organization.
As we finish this semester and move into the next, I look forward to the new studies ahead and the continuing opportunities to volunteer within the city. Happy holidays from New Orleans.

Habitat for Humanity: 16 hours

Total Fall Semester: 49.5 hours

Monday, October 31, 2016

October 2016

It’s Halloween, and another month has passed. Our classes have shifted from cardiovascular to renal pharmacology, and we are steadily moving into the final blocks of the semester.
Outside of classes, I have continued my volunteer work within New Orleans, both with SciHigh and Habitat for Humanity. The pre-calculus classes I normally tutor have been busy with holidays and testing this month, but I was able to spend one afternoon judging group projects at a school-wide science fair. I primarily judged the projects from the environmental science classes, and it was exciting to see the enthusiasm and effort the students put into their projects. Mostly, I was very impressed by some of the unique and creative experiments they developed. Overall, it was a fun experience to see the students applying some of their classwork to practical situations and a great way to stay involved with the school.
I also spent another day working with Habitat for Humanity, where our team was working towards stripping paint and repainting, as well as performing minor repairs, on an older home in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans. The weather was little cooler than the last time I volunteered with Habitat; however, due to the threat of lead exposure from the paint, our team had to be completely protected with full body suits, respirators, and goggles. It was warm, to say the least. But, we made significant progress on the house and even had a chance to meet and speak with some of the homeowner’s family. It was a great opportunity, and their expressed gratitude made the hard work well worth it.

-SciHigh: 2 hours
-Habitat for Humanity: 8 hours

-Total Fall Semester: 33.5 hours

Friday, September 30, 2016

September 2016

The month of September has seen a lot of building upon the foundations established in the first month and a half of the program. We have finished the neoplasia and hematology block and have transitioned into the autonomic nervous system and cardiovascular system. This block covers a lot of new physiology and drugs, but it’s been interesting to combine concepts from previous blocks to the new material. Outside of classes, I volunteered another day at the Crescent City Café, but I also added two volunteer commitments this month.
A few weeks ago I began working at the New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School, or SciHigh, to help tutor students studying pre-calculus. Studying topics in math was always one of my favorite subjects as I grew up, and it’s been a rewarding experience to pass along any insights I might have to their studies. This month, their classes have been covering foundational topics such as designing single variable functions and proportional equations. Many of the students I’ve worked with thus far have been very enthusiastic about learning the material, and it’s been exciting to see their progress in only a short time. I’m looking forward to seeing their continued improvement as the semester and school year goes along.
Also, I had an opportunity to help build a new home with Habitat for Humanity one weekend this month. It was not easy work in the late summer heat, but, incredibly, our team was able to finish installing the external insulation, roofing, doors, and windows in only a day. I’ve signed up to volunteer several more weekends this year, and I hope to continue working on the same project to contribute to its progress.

-Crescent City Café: 3 hours
-SciHigh: 4.5 hours
-Habitat for Humanity: 8 hours

-Total Fall Semester: 23.5 hours

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August 2016

After a short two months living in New Orleans, I am quickly beginning to settle into my new city. For most of my life I have lived in different cities over Alabama, finishing my undergraduate studies at Auburn University then living in Birmingham before moving to New Orleans. Thus, moving to an unfamiliar city and state was an exciting new experience for me to begin. The pharmacology program at Tulane has been in underway for about six weeks, and the progress has been substantial. I have learned more about pharmacology than I ever expected I would have at this point. Also, through acts of public service, I have had great opportunities to learn more about the New Orleans and Louisiana communities.
I began my service in New Orleans at the Crescent City Café on St. Charles Avenue, where I prepared meals for the homeless community within the city. The café’s mission is not only to provide assistance to those in need, but also to do it in a more dignified way. I worked in the kitchen cooking breakfast and preparing the different meals being served that day, and the café was able to serve over 90 hungry people in need within the New Orleans community! It was a perfect opportunity to quickly learn about some of the difficult circumstances facing many people in the New Orleans community while providing a direct impact to those in need.
After the devastating flood crisis in nearby Louisiana communities, Yama and I volunteered with United Way to help repair homes in a severely impacted neighborhood within Lafayette. We worked in two homes by removing moldy debris and cleaning out items damaged by the flood waters. This physical act of assistance was another opportunity to connect with people devastated by the natural disaster in my new home state. It was a shocking and humbling experience to witness firsthand the mass damage to homes in countless communities, many of which without any means to begin the rebuilding process. It was especially gratifying to see the unified effort from New Orleans to provide relief to those impacted by the recent floods, as many people from the city remembered the large support they received after the Hurricane Katrina flooding. Thus, there is a unique connection between the communities within the state, and it was an unforgettable experience to witness so many of the selfless acts firsthand.
In just two months I have enhanced my own personal experience and understanding of the misfortune that can fall upon others, and I am looking forward to continuing my educational studies here in New Orleans while striving to enhance the welfare of my new communities.

-August hours: 8
-Total semester hours: 8