January 2019 – Jennifer Acosta

At a young age, Jennifer Acosta knew she was interested in medicine and helping others, but she didn’t know what the future held for her. When she was fifteen years old, Esperanza Health Center made an exception to our age requirement for the Community Health Promoters (CHP) class, and Jennifer became the youngest person to ever complete the 9 week course.

She graduated high school a year early and continued her education at Bryn Mawr College. Her completion of the CHP class was just the start of her engagement in community in Philadelphia. Jennifer went on to intern three separate times at Esperanza. She also served North Philly through the Summer Medical Institute (SMI) and assisted in organizing and recruiting for future CHP classes. On top of all that, she even spent some time doing neuroscience research at Drexel University.

After graduating from Bryn Mawr, Jennifer completed a year-long internship with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship on the Bryn Mawr campus, while volunteering weekly with Porch Light in Kensington. While she wasn’t immediately aware of what these foundational experiences were leading to, God was orchestrating a different calling for her life. At the start of college, Jennifer had wanted to be a doctor, but these experiences set her eyes on a different path. She saw the worth that was within North Philly and wanted to be the change that she hoped to see. And, she had a passion to share the beauty and depth that resides within her North Philadelphia community, to help others to see past the negative narratives and assumptions that are made from the outside looking in.

In late 2018, Jennifer joined Esperanza full-time as our Community Health and Wellness Coordinator. With the impact she has already left on Esperanza and North Philly, we are excited to see how God will use her in future endeavors at Esperanza!