Member Spotlight: Terri Sheppard

In the follow up to our Member Spotlight series, we have AHITI Full Time member Terri Sheppard. Terri currently serves as a Health Educator at the Ruth Lilly Health Education Center, one of our many partner organizations. 

Terri: I serve at The Ruth Lilly Health Education Center in Indianapolis, IN. The mission of RLHEC is “to provide inspiring health education through innovative presentations that promote and reinforce healthy lifestyle choices for children and adults.” At RLHEC they teach health education to both children and adults on every level possible ranging from general health classes, to drug education classes. As a child I remember visiting the Center for a program and the experience that I had I’ve yet to forget. Once I learned about what they do, which is teaching health and impacting lives, I became even more interested.

My position as a Full Time AmeriCorps member here at the Ruth Lilly Health Education Center is as a Health Educator. I teach a variety of General Health classes to hundreds of students ranging from Pre-School to 7th grade. Aside from teaching I am also responsible for a Teacher Newsletter that comes out monthly and putting up a monthly whiteboard, both of which display information on nutrition and physical activity.

My AmeriCorps experience has truly been an unforgettable one, from the service term of 2010-2011, to the current 2011-2012 year. I have learned a lot about myself, my community, and about my strong desire to serve. To say the very least, this experience has been very insightful. Each day that I’ve spent serving has opened my eyes to many new things. In my life AmeriCorps plays the role as a significant piece to my future success. Before graduating in May 2011, I had no idea what I wanted to do once school was over and then I learned about AmeriCorps. I look at it as the perfect piece that I was missing. I was not quite ready to enter the work force, but at the same time I wanted to get more experience in my field, doing what it is that I love to do, working with children.

Since being in AmeriCorps I have grown physically, mentally, professionally, and socially. I have learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses as both an individual and a professional. In everything that I do now, I try to make sure that I am fully aware of the necessary steps that need to be taken to complete my task successfully. It’s almost as if I’m creating an action plan for my life step by step. I’ve learned that my role serving as a health educator had made a tremendous impact on my community, more than what I was initially acknowledging.

Serving with AmeriCorps at the Ruth Lilly Health Education Center has opened my eyes to want to explore more with educational organizations in terms of career choices and options. This is not something I took up in college but I find it interesting as a result of being in AmeriCorps. I never really saw myself as the teaching type, but since I have been given the opportunity to do that as well as work with children I learned that I am as passionate about education as I am health. Had it not been for this experience with AmeriCorps, I probably would not have missed out on this aspect of growth in my life. 

For information about the Ruth Lilly Health Education Center and its various programs, watch this video newly released on their Facebook page today.

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