AmeriCorps director seeks students to serve as paid health navigators

Baldwin Wallace’s CHANGE INC. AmeriCorps Director Valerie Beutel is seeking BW students to serve as paid health navigators for CHANGE INC., a branch organization of AmeriCorps, through a grant awarded to the university from ServeOhio.  

The organization’s goal is to promote food security in the Greater Cleveland area. The part-time position begins this upcoming fall. It includes a year-long opportunity to serve as a resource facilitator, with students making face-to-face connections with community members in an effort to direct them to proper resources. 

Health navigators travel to local cities, such as Old Brooklyn, Clark-Fulton neighborhoods, and other partners to conduct their services. They also use closed referral systems through an online platform to manage clients and confirm that they have been assisted. Navigators do not host drives or distributions, but they may participate and volunteer as preferred. 

“The goal of the navigators is to make personal connections with people in the community, find out what resources they need, and direct them to it,” Beutel said. “For example, if someone needs food, we refer them to a food bank and make sure they get what they need.” 

Serving as a health navigator provides students with the opportunity to gain professional experience, give back to the community, and act as a resume builder. It also allows students to establish connections, network, and expand their volunteer services.  

“I think CHANGE INC. allows for amazing opportunities for public health students especially,” sophomore public health major Jamila Mohammad said. “Although I’m familiar with their mission of investing themselves to better the community, I wish I became informed sooner.” 

Aside from needing additional members, the organization also needs assistance with advertising and recruiting purposes.  

“AmeriCorps is a national service program that has been around for over 25 years, and we would love for students to spread the word to those who would like to get involved and gain valuable professional experience,” Buetel said.  

Spreading information about the organization through word of mouth and posting on social media are two of the many ways students can get involved. 

Beutel serves as the director and lead recruiter for BW’s involvement with the organization. For more information or to become a member, please contact [email protected], or visit CHANGE INC. CLE’s Facebook page.