Internship Renews Commitment to Hometown of Tyler, Texas

Lanecia Ford-Hicks, Biology Major
Tyler, Texas, Azalea Orthopedics

Home to Texas Program 2021Student Blog

Live reporting from the Rose City itself is Lanecia Ford-Hicks, a Sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Biology and aspiring to become a doctor.

This past summer I have had the wonderful opportunity to intern at Azalea Orthopedics and shadow Dr. Jerry Schwarzbach. Since interning, I have taken on many different roles that highlight my experience. Those roles include student, medical assistant, and teacher. I chose student because while interning with Dr. Schwarzbach I felt like he was always providing me with new knowledge and I was constantly learning new things not just about medicine but about life, school, and so much more. This leads to my second role as a medical assistant since I was so hands-on and involved during the clinic. All the things I learned about bedside manner, nerve conduction velocity, electromyography, and injections have truly been some of my favorite parts of my internship. I got to help in a countless number of ways that I would have never imagined, being able to interact with patients, be entrusted to handle key tasks independently, and assist in the conduction of EMG/NCV’S all contribute to my role as a medical assistant. Lastly, I decided to say teacher because despite all of the learning I was doing I was able to have many teachable moments. I have gotten to teach many people at Azalea about technology, how biology and chemistry all contribute to orthopedics, and even about Tyler itself.

The amount of exposure to the real world that I have gained since being an intern is astonishing. I do not think I truly understood what it was like to work 40+ hours a week continuously. That alone was honestly one of my biggest takeaways from the Home to Texas Program because it highlighted the reality of so many people’s everyday lives. Another thing that opened my eyes to the reality of the world was the interviews that I got to have with the citizens of Tyler. My interviews were especially eye-opening to me because so many people had different opinions and thoughts about Tyler, but the one thing that stood out the most to me was that the majority of people from the Northside of town feel as though the city has been continuously had renovations, and improvements for the Southside of town and the improvement of the Northside has been stagnant and nonexistent. To hear that from many of my interviewees was disheartening since I grew up on the Northside and can see the disparities between the two.

This leads to how I want to come back to Tyler and contribute to the betterment of the community as a whole and rid my home of these disparities. I see myself contributing to my hometown by making it an attraction again for its current residents and newcomers. I want to rebuild, renovate, and improve the home I grew up in so that everyone can see the entirety of Tyler and its beauty. I believe my contribution to my hometown is vital because Tyler has helped mold me into the person I have grown into today, and helped me realize that for the town to improve those of us who leave need to go back and sew into the place that once helped us become who we are. To continue seeing greatness from a town and its citizens, the citizens have to want greatness to occur. And since someone ensured that Tyler was great for me growing up, I need to ensure that it’s great for many years to come.

Find the Home to Texas 2021 Student Blog Series below:

  1. Intro: Developing Future Community Leaders Today
  2. A Day in the Life of a Home to Texas Summer Intern
  3. Herd Immunity Starts at Borders: Brownsville’s Maquiladora COVID-19 Vaccine Effort
  4. Eye-Opening, Confidence Building: Working with Port Arthur, Beaumont Area Leadership
  5. Internship Renews Commitment to Hometown of Tyler, TX
  6. Home to Texas Internship Leads to an Eye-Opening Juneteenth Experience
  7. Hometown Community in a New Light: An Intern’s Summer Well Spent
  8. Amarillo, Texas: Small Town with a Large Population
  9. Conclusion: Leaders at Home and Beyond

For more information on the Home to Texas program or how to support future leaders in communities across Texas, please send a note to

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Posted on

October 11, 2021

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