Volunteer of the Year: Darinka Obradovich; BS, EMT, CNA
Originally from (Yugoslavian) Croatian descent, my grandparents immigrated to Peru in the 1940’s where my parents and I were born. We then immigrated to the US when I was ten years old. My childhood dream was always to become a nurse, but as life would have it, that journey is still underway. My academic dreams began to crystallize with the extreme premature birth of my son in 1997, when I was thrown into the world of medicine. As we struggled through his extensive medical and developmental issues, I developed a passion for science. After my son was well enough to be cared by non-medical caregivers, I began my academic career. I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology at the University of South Florida in 2005 where I acquired several years of experience in academic scientific laboratory research. This experience led me to a Research Assistant position with Scripps Research Institute here in Jupiter where I met my husband, Christopher Baker, a neuroscientist now working at Max Planck Florida Institute. After 11 years at the lab bench, and with my husband’s blessing, I decided to leave my research job and focus my time in pursuing my dream of becoming a healthcare practitioner. I acquired my EMT and CNA licenses in May of 2013, which have allowed me the opportunity to transition into the clinical healthcare system and to volunteer in patient care in my community. I currently work at Jupiter Medical Center as a Clinical Laboratory Technician while I pursue my education. I first joined the MyClinic family in May of 2013 and have been very involved in its growth and development into the beautiful clinic it is today. This volunteering experience has been monumentally rewarding in ways that I never imagined. I feel privileged to be able to work alongside brilliant and devoted physicians, nurses, educators, and other volunteers that selflessly give their time to help so many patients in need. I am ultimately grateful to be a part of such an amazing group. This experience will no doubt have an enormous impact and prove invaluable to my academic pursuits.