Student of the quarter : Kate Portzenski

Kate Portzenski grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and moved down to Charleston about four years ago.Kate’s father, aunt, and mother all attended the College of Charleston, when looking at colleges to attend she wanted to follow in her family’s footsteps. At first Kate’s major was marine biology and ended up with a BS in Public Health. Kate will be graduating On May 11th 2019. Kate has completed her 6 credit internship course that will lead her to graduate for Bachelors in science in Public health from College of Charleston.

What initially interested you about volunteering at the Shifa Free clinic?
My initial interest in the Shifa Free Clinic began when I was looking for somewhere to intern at for my major requirement at the College of Charleston. I was drawn towards the clinic based upon previous students experiences and the clinics mission statement. I have always been interested in women’s health, and I knew that pursuing an internship at the clinic would not only allow me to see the medical aspect but administrative side of how free clinics run.

What drove you to continue volunteering?
I thoroughly enjoyed the few months I was able to intern at the clinic and learned a plethora of knowledge during those three months, therefore, this led me to want to continue to volunteer at the clinic throughout the summer to see what else I could learn from the amazing women who work there.  

How would you describe your overall experience with the Shifa free Clinic?
My overall experience at the clinic has been life changing. I walked in every Monday and Wednesday morning at 8 am ready to start my day and see what I will be doing. From working with the front desk to food pantry to the clinic side, every task I did, I did it with a smile on my face and enjoyed every minute of it.

I loved every woman I worked with and loved getting to know them professionally as well as personally. The daily luncheons were my favorite part of the day because it was a time where we were able to step aside from the busy work day to laugh with each other and tell stories.