May 2023 Volunteer Spotlight: Kayla Grimes
We are thrilled to spotlight Kayla Grimes from Houston, Texas. A rising senior at Rice University, Kayla has been a volunteer with NPAF for one year.
Describe the advocacy work that you’re doing in your community and what motivated you to start?
I am the President of American Medical Women’s Association at Rice University and we are developing a website for college seniors and juniors to get educated on healthcare and how to be an active and health literate patient. I found NPAF online and instantly fell in love with their purpose and the impact that they have on patients. I wanted to collaborate on this project with them since we have similar goals and I’ve seen a lack of health literacy among my peers and even some pre-meds. Being proactive has always been one of my skill sets so I wanted to give those who are interested a chance to be better informed before they go off on their own. To start the project, I received guidance from the NPAF grassroots team concerning the feasibility and brainstorming portion of the project and then did some research around campus to gauge students’ knowledge and need for health literacy.
What advice would you give to volunteers who would like to do something similar?
To find an interest, I would recommend figuring out what topics within healthcare you’re most interested in and what you see is lacking within your community. Filling a need is one of the most fulfilling things you can do for others. I would say find 5-10 people who are interested in your idea and divide the work based on availability and skill set. Make sure to loop in healthcare experts that can verify the information you want to put out there. Lastly, have a detailed plan and a realistic timeline of how you’re going to do things.
Since you’ve been a volunteer with NPAF, what are some of the things you are most proud of?
Meeting people who are passionate about patient advocacy, working with people who want to progress community health literacy and starting my healthcare literacy website for my peers.