I AM FPHLP 2016: Domonique Freeman

Domonique Vert HeadshotDomonique Freeman was part of the 2016 FPHLP cohort. She is a recent graduate of Saginaw Valley State University where she majored in Health Science. During her time in FPHLP, Domonique worked with the Henry Ford Health System: Generation With Promise Youth Wellness Ambassador Group. She was responsible for teaching teens about the importance of healthy living and encouraged them to share that message with their peers. She also facilitated learning sessions on asset mapping, which allowed the teens to identify assets of healthy living near them.

As a self-described introvert, Domonique was concerned about her ability to network. She says, "The first curriculum day, Ms. Thomas talked about how important networking would be throughout the program, and I literally cringed inside." She overcame this visceral reaction, however, and made an effort to ask questions and introduce herself to guest speakers. The highlight of her FPHLP experience may have been the result of this practice. Domonique explains that she had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, the Nation's First State-level Surgeon General and founder of Generation With Promise. Dr. Wisdom gave Domonique great insight and advice for her career.

Since the program ended, Domonique moved to Atlanta, Georgia to attend Georgia State University for her MPH. She also accepted a full-time position as the Administrative Assistant to the Director of Nursing at East Lake Arbor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. In the future, Domonique hopes to start her own health coaching business, consulting on how to engage in a healthy lifestyle to decrease disparities at an individual level. Additionally, she would like to work in government in order to evaluate and create policies that decrease health disparities more broadly.

Reflecting on what enticed her to participate in FPHLP, Domonique explains, "I had a love for health and wanted to do something in my career helping low-income communities have more access to healthier foods, better health education, and equal healthcare. I knew I was about to graduate and go to grad school and I felt as if I needed something to jumpstart my post-undergrad career. This program turned out to be just that." She advises anyone considering applying for the program to do so even if they are unsure. "I was shy and kept to myself a lot," she says, "leaving home was something new for me. I stepped out on faith and ended up meeting great people, amazing networks, and learning things I otherwise would have never learned this early in my public health career."