Julie Jean-Baptiste

Born and raised in Bradenton, Florida, Julie Jean-Baptiste graduated cum laude from the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University in 2018. There, she majored in liberal arts and science with a major concentration in interdisciplinary social science, and a minor concentration in environmental studies. While at FAU, Julie helped reinstitute the Feminist Student Union, where she served as Vice President. After serving with Impact America, she hopes to pursue a graduate degree in Data Analysis and Applied Sociology and continue working with nonprofits in her community.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Being a first-generation college graduate, and the first in my family of 10+ to do so.

What is your favorite quote from a book, film, or song?

I have so many quotes that I love, but usually anything relating to social justice and social consciousness will inspire me.

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” – Dr. Angela Davis

Who is someone you admire and why?

I admire all of my closest friends because of their stories. They have overcome so much and endured some very tough times. They inspire me to succeed and support me in more ways than they know.

Christopher Westfall

Christopher Westfall, a native of Dunnellon, FL, graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and Spanish. During his time in Nashville, he served as a news reporter for The Vanderbilt Hustler, an executive board member of Vanderbilt College Democrats, and co-service chair of an animal welfare group on campus which leads volunteer trips to the Nashville Humane Association. In the summer before his senior year, Christopher interned at the U.S. Department of Education. After his time with Impact America, Christopher plans to attend law school.

Name and describe a memorable place you’ve been.

One of my most indelible memories is of an afternoon spent in Dandong, China. As the city lies along the Chinese-North Korean border, I was able to look across the Yalu River and—without the aid of binoculars—make out North Korea. I also had the opportunity to walk one of the most easterly parts of the Great Wall.

What is your favorite quote from a book, film, or song?

“On the page, it looked nothing. The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse—bassoons and basset horns—like a rusty squeezebox. Then, suddenly—high above it—an oboe, a single note, hanging there unwavering, till a clarinet took over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight! This was no composition by a performing monkey. This was a music I’d never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing, it had me trembling.” –Antonio Salieri, Amadeus (1984)

Corissa Raymond

Corissa Raymond was born and raised in Central Florida and, in May 2017, graduated cum laude from Rollins College where she majored in psychology and minored in chemistry. As an undergraduate, Corissa served students on campus by working in the Disability Services Office and as a tutor and received the honor of being named the 2017 Student Employee of the Year. During her time at Rollins, she also worked abroad, providing public health services to community members in both the Dominican Republic and Honduras. As a result of her service work outside of the country and within her own community, she was presented with the 2016-2017 Community Engagement Award by the Center for Leadership & Community Engagement at Rollins College. After serving with Impact America, Corissa plans to attend medical school.

What was your most meaningful service experience or extracurricular activity in college and why?

Global Medical Brigades provided me the opportunity to combine my love of travel with medicine and has been the most impactful service experience I have had to date. In May 2016, I attended a brigade in La Chorrera, Honduras where I was able to shadow physicians and dentists and assist in distributing medications within a makeshift pharmacy in a temporary clinic. The experience gave me the opportunity to participate in the process of providing health care from start to finish. Additionally, the ability to serve the members of an under resourced community for a week after two years of fundraising and planning truly showed me that serving others, not the preparation and expense involved, is what matters.

Who is someone you admire and why page?

One individual I truly admire is my mother. She puts her heart and soul into everything that she does and is the reason why I am so passionate about providing service to others. She will do anything she possibly can to lend a helping hand to someone else. My mom is the most resilient person I know, and I am so grateful to have her constant love and support.

Priya Sabharwal

Priya Sabharwal, born and raised in St. Cloud, Florida, graduated cum laude from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in May, 2017. She majored in Nutritional Sciences and minored in Health Disparities in Society. Priya was a peer mentor for the University Minority Mentor Program for three years, and she served as the historian for the Community Health Service Corps for two years. After serving with Impact America, Priya hopes to attend Dental School to become a dentist who works with underprivileged communities.

What is your favorite quote from a book, film, or song?

“Girte hain shahsawar hi maidan-e-jang mein. Wo tifl kyaa girega jo ghutnon ke bal chale.” In Hindi, this quote means, the fighter can fall only when she rides the horse in the battlefield. If a coward does not even ride the horse, how can they fall? The quote serves as a reminder for me to never be afraid of failure because of the importance of trying to achieve something greater.  

What was your most meaningful service experience or extracurricular activity in college and why?

My most meaningful service experience during college was volunteering in the Shands Hospital Dental Clinic. The clinic catered to patients of a lower socioeconomic status. Volunteering in the clinic, I learned a lot about patient interaction, dentistry, and empathy. I realized a little bit of kindness goes a long way in patient interactions. In any service occupation, it is important to really care for one another. I hope to bring the values I learned from the clinic into my service with Impact America.

Yara Asad

Born in Palestine, Yara Asad moved to America at a young age and has spent the majority of her years living in Tallahassee, Florida. She is a recent graduate of Florida State University and majored in international affairs. As an undergrad at Florida State, she was involved in many organizations including the Middle East Outreach Program that concentrated on helping local students learn about the different cultures in the region and to give them a basic understanding of the Arabic language. After serving with Impact, she hopes to pursue her education focusing on human rights law.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

Every five years growing up my parents would move our family back to Palestine to spend a school year overseas. I got the opportunity to experience elementary, middle, and high school in both Palestine and America.

What was your most meaningful service experience or extracurricular activity in college and why ?

One of my most meaningful service experiences as a student at Florida State University was having the opportunity to accompany the International Rescue Committee to pick up a Syrian refugee family and help settle them in a new home. As a translator, I was able to help and comfort a family that had faced many hardships and obstacles to come to America and give their five children a better and safer life. Oftentimes, it is hard to watch the news and feel helpless about what is going on in the world but in that moment I was able to do my part by helping to welcome them to this country and start to adjust to their new beginning.