Posted May 15, 2013

Community service a driving passion for North Philadelphia native

Jazmyn Burton
Working part-time in Temple's Office of Community Relations, Bianca Augustine had an opportunity to meet community leaders and residents. Now she's ready to move on to a job in patient services at Nazareth Hospital.

Bianca Augustine had an opportunity to attend college away from home, but when it came time to decide where to continue her education, the North Philadelphia native’s first and only choice was Temple. Despite her mother’s urgings to experience college in a more rural setting, Augustine decided that her talent and ambition were best kept close to home. She worked part-time in the Office of Community Relations, where she had an opportunity to meet community leaders and residents, and also served an internship with the office of State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas. She has a job in patient services at Nazareth Hospital waiting for her when she graduates. 

Temple Times: What brought you to Temple?
Biance Augustine: My mother really wanted me to be exposed to a different type of environment, get out of Philadelphia and experience of living away from home. But I made up my mind a long time ago. I grew up watching students from Temple walk around the neighborhood with their Temple T-shirts and backpacks, so I knew early that Temple was where I wanted to be. 

TT: How did being a student at Temple prepare you for life in the real world?
BA: I had wonderful opportunities to work in the community. I’ve always been very interested in politics; I served as an assistant to State Rep Curtis Thomas. He was definitely a great mentor; he always pushed me to go for my goals. When balancing balancing my studies and my  work schedule got challenging  he would always encouraged me to keep going. In his eyes I had no other option but to succeed. My network today would not be strong without him.

TT: How did you manage to balance the responsibilities of work with the responsibilities of school?
BA: I’ve worked in patient access registration at Nazareth Hospital in the northeast for more than three years now, so it was important that I learn time management, how to stick to my study schedule and how to give myself time to rest. It was difficult but it taught me a lot about the real world. I know that I’ll take these skill with me wherever I go. 

TT: Now that you’re a graduate, what are your career goals?
BA: I know that I am going to end up working in a hospital. I really want to be directly engaged with patients and help decrease health disparities among the elderly and minorities and use my background to make sure that people get the attention and access they need. Everything experienced at Temple, from volunteering with the National Coalition of Colored Women to working in the Community Relations office have prepared me for this next step.