I AM FPHLP 2015: Karina Goicochea

Karina GoicocheaKarina Goicochea is a junior at Oregon State University where she is majoring in Public Health and minoring in Spanish and Environmental Health & Safety. During her time in the FPHLP, Karina worked to promote the SRSLY Safe Homes Initiative through St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Chelsea, MI. SRSLY is a team of youth and adults working together to promote positive choices, and prevent youth substance abuse. Karina faced her biggest challenge in adapting to a less structured workplace. The experience, however, helped her to grow professionally. She says, “I can work better on my toes, make efficient quick decisions, and work much better independently.”

When Karina first learned about the FPHLP, she was hesitant to apply. “My older brother played a big role in encouraging me,” she explains, “I knew if I was accepted, it would be a huge opportunity for me to learn more about my field of interest.” And, sure enough, Karina got her chance! She recalls that her favorite experience was spending a Saturday in the neighborhoods of Detroit conducting surveys on breastfeeding. “Having the opportunity to live and work in a new state was an experience all its own.”

Karina is currently working at her university’s campus clinic as a Student Health Navigator. Beginning winter term, she is excited to have the opportunity to work more closely with Latinos in Oregon, a population she is passionate about advocating for. “I will be an interpreter at the Community Health Inc. clinic that serves undocumented patients,” she says. “I will also begin working on a project with the Undergraduate Research Awards Program (URAP). My research will focus on gender and sexual health of Latinos living in Oregon.” Eventually, Karina hopes to attend graduate school to pursue an MPH in community health promotion and health education.

When asked what advice she would give to anyone interested in the FPHLP, Karina recommends, “Just apply! You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Your experiences with this program are invaluable. I had one of the greatest summers of my life doing FPHLP, alongside friends I plan to keep forever.”

Karina Goicochea and cohortsKarina Goicochea