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Q&A with 11th Street Co-op Samantha Beaino ‘14

July 29, 2013

Samantha Beaino is a student in the Nutrition Sciences Department and works as the Health Education Outreach Co-op at 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University.

Chartings: How did you first hear about 11th Street Family Health Services?

Samantha Beaino: I have a friend who was the Primary Care Co-Op last year, and she was really excited about working here and about all of the services that 11th Street provides.

Chartings: What inspired you to want to do a co-op at 11th Street Family Health Services?

SB: 11th Street is an interdisciplinary facility. They have every part of health care represented here from primary care nurses to dental to physical therapy and fitness. When I interviewed, everyone was very welcoming and passionate about all aspects of health. I knew it would be a great experience to work here.

Chartings: What are some of your responsibilities?

SB: I work in the Health Education Outreach department where I have a part in many of the programs the health center runs. My primary role is our weekly Cooking Class for which I create a lesson plan and healthy recipe. We have a few plots in our community garden that we use to incorporate fresh veggies into our meals, too. I also write the health center’s monthly newsletter and assist with the nutritional components of the diabetes class and the weight lose program.

Chartings: How does your nutrition knowledge and experience help you in this co-op position?

SB: Cooking and diabetes classes generate the most interest and questions about nutrition, so I really need to know what foods have certain nutrients and different ways to prepare foods. I think the most important part is taking what I've learned and making it relatable and understandable.

Chartings: What is one of the best memories you have made as an 11th Street co-op?

SB: In May we held an event with the Mural Arts Program called "Painting a Healthy City." We had a food truck, gardening, crafts, fitness challenges, food tasting, and the health center’s exterior wall was lined with murals to paint. It was great to see all the families and community members express interest in the health center and these activities.

Chartings: How has this co-op experience impacted your career aspirations?

SB: I'm hoping to get matched for a dietetic internship, which is the next step to becoming a Registered Dietitian after graduation. Work experience in the field is required to get an internship, and I believe this co-op has prepared me for that career. It has been such a great opportunity to explore community nutrition and public health, and I've learned that educating people is such a large component of others being able to lead a healthy life.

Chartings: What would you say to other Drexel students applying for this position?

SB: Someone in this position definitely needs to be able to balance a handful of different tasks. You also need to be personable because there's a lot of patient interaction!