Tell me about yourself.
My name is Sonya. I recently moved to Johnstown from Philadelphia. I used to be an income maintenance caseworker in Philadelphia. I enjoy being a Community Health Worker because I get to help people in need. I love to take walks, read, travel, and listen to music.
How do you see CHWs playing a role in advancing racial and health equity in our region?
I see CHWs play an important role in advancing racial and health equity in this region because we come in all races. CHWs especially play an important role because there are people who have never interacted with someone of another race and this job helps bring different races together. CHWs are a great source for health resources that most in this region have a hard time obtaining.
What drew you to the CHW position in the first place? Do you have any past experiences that have helped and/or prepared you for this role?
What drew me to the CHW position is I was having a really hard time finding employment in Johnstown but was walking by the Community Action Partnership of Cambria County building while walking to the library and wrote down the number. I had never heard of a Community Health Worker before I moved to Johnstown. I was told though that there are CHWs in Philadelphia. I believe my experience as a caseworker helped me prepare for the position of CHW. I worked with the public daily and encountered happy, as well as irate clients. Any type of situation you may think of happened at the Philadelphia County Assistance office.
What does being a community health worker mean to you?
The most challenging and difficult part of being a CHW is travelling and not knowing all the resources available to you. It’s very frustrating not being able to find the right resources for the participants.