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Alumni Spotlight: Jillian Trieff and Medicine

Jillian Trieff '09, '10 •  Pre-Medical Student

"My experience in City Year allowed me to understand how critical service to others is in order to see progress in our world."

Why did you serve with City Year?
I served with CY because, as a college student, my goal was to become an international relief worker. When I was a senior I decided that before I went abroad permanently I should spend a year or two serving in my own country. Americorps seemed to be an excellent route for domestic service and as soon as I saw City Year’s description in the Americorps program database I felt a connection. I knew that it was where I wanted to serve. 
What is one pivotal moment from your year of service?
City Year San Antonio organized an overnight camp in the Texas Hill Country for middle school students from San Antonio during my second year. One night I saw a camper looking sad, sitting by himself after everyone else had started getting ready for bed. I sat next to him and started talking to him. I gathered he wasn’t having much fun and felt lonely, but he didn't say much else. When his counselor came to get him for bed I told him to remember that he wasn’t alone at camp and that if he needed anything we were here. I left the situation feeling sad for him, but doubting I’d been much help.
The next night campers had the opportunity to give shout outs and appreciations to people at camp, and to my surprise the boy I'd spoken to the night before took the stage. He didn’t know her name, but that he wanted to thank the lady who had talked to him the night before. He said he had been really sad but she had made him feel much better. I’ve never been more touched.
Showing compassion is always the right thing to do, even if in the moment it feels kind of awkward or unhelpful. Being kind is never a waste of time. 
What are you doing now?
After City Year I began pursuing a pre-medical education in the hopes of continuing my service as a physician. Right now I am applying to medical schools, hoping to matriculate in the fall of 2015.
How did CY guide you to where you are today?
City Year solidified service as my ultimate goal in life. My direction has shifted towards service through medicine and healthcare, but my experience in City Year allowed me to understand how critical service to others is in order to see progress in our world. 
Are you still involved in service?
I am; I volunteer with Hallmark Hospice and Visiting Nurses Association in the greater Boston area. I sit with hospice patients in order to provide them some comfort and support while providing their caregivers some respite.
What words of wisdom do you have for alumni planning to apply to this program?
Reflect on your year of service and be able to draw clear connections between your experiences and the goals you hope to achieve, especially when applying to jobs and academic programs. Figure out what the most important skills or characteristics for the position are and see if your service gave you the opportunity to develop that qualification in some way. If so, be able to explain specifically how your experience has prepared you for the role you’re seeking.

Email Jillian.

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