I AM FPHLP 2017: Tselza Almendra

Tselza AlmendraTselza Almendra was part of the 2017 FPHLP cohort. She's a recent graduate from California State University, Fullerton and is currently working as an AmeriCorps fellow in Los Angeles County. This summer, Tselza worked with Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, MI. She worked with the Program for Multicultural Health to develop and implement health workshops for students in summer camps. Tselza also worked with the Community Benefit program, where she analyzed data and co-authored a report for community members and policy makers.

After coming across different internships online, Tselza chose to apply to FPHLP because she felt like it would give her the ability to explore different disciplines in public health, as well as enhance her professional development through real-world experience.

"I didn't realize how much can happen in 10 weeks until I came to Michigan," Tselza describes. While visiting the CDC in Atlanta, Tselza was in disbelief. She never imagined herself at the CDC, and it was such a worthwhile experience. She enjoyed listening to different panelists and speakers talk about her topics of interest. Visiting the CDC was also an opportunity for Tselza to network with public health professionals. She also appreciated the relationships she got to form with other FPHLP interns—meeting students from all across the country was something special. Tselza is happy that she got to hear stories and share experiences with people from different backgrounds.

During the summer, Tselza was taking the last classes she needed to graduate. Balancing her coursework and FPHLP responsibilities taught her how to manage her time wisely, plan ahead, and prioritize. With graduation approaching, she was also having to think about her future. Tselza graduated in August and took a position as an AmeriCorps fellow in Los Angeles County, where she's working with Patient-Centered Medical Homes. The projects she's working on are focused on patient experience, and she's excited to improve the care of medically underserved communities. Additionally, Tselza has had the opportunity to speak at her former elementary school. She got to share her college experiences with little ones and got them excited about going to college. 

Tselza_ChicagoTselza is currently applying to Masters of Health Administration programs around the country. She wants to continue exploring patient experience and population health management. Initially, Tselza was set on continuing her education back at home, but FPHLP gave her the confidence she needed to apply to out-of-state programs. Tselza learned that leaving your familiar environment can be an extremely rewarding experience. Aside from wanting to work in healthcare, Tselza didn't know exactly what she wanted. FPHLP helped her explore the different disciplines and find her area of interest.

Her advice to anyone considering FPHLP is to just apply. "You never know what might happen if you do," Tselza says. She shares that although the application process was intimidating, she viewed FPHLP as an opportunity for self-discovery. "The people that I met in Michigan all made an impact that led me to where I am now. FPHLP can definitely do the same for you!"