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Hi, my name is Claudia, and I am a rising junior from Waconia, Minnesota, studying sociology and global health. I am spending the summer working in the Volunteer Services department at CrescentCare. The organization was founded 35 years ago as a HIV hotline called the NO/AIDS Task Force. CrescentCare has expanded significantly to meet the needs of the community and now acts as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), providing a broad range of health and wellness services to anyone seeking care in the New Orleans region. CrescentCare’s title as a FQHC equips the organization to serve its clients according to need, regardless of income or insurance status. This summer, I am working with my supervisor to promote HIV awareness—to share the message that HIV is still an issue and that it affects us all. I am excited to see what the rest of this summer has to hold.

One thing I love so far about New Orleans is the pure joy and pride people have for their community. We went to the Creole Tomato Festival, and everyone was so excited to share this New Orleans delicacy with us. Although the Creole tomatoes looked like normal tomatoes, the people swore there was something special about them. And they definitely weren’t lying because the Creole tomatoes were the best tomatoes I have ever had.