José Garcia Ulerio is originally from the Dominican Republic, where he studied medicine at the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo. José is interested in public health and epidemiology. For the past two years, he worked as a general physician for Caritas Internationalis. His role involved assisting patients in outpatient care facilities located in vulnerable parts of the city.  He also coordinated prevention programs, including vaccination days, home-based care, and health education and promotion.

In December 2017, José moved from the Dominican Republic to New York City to join our CMMB family as an intern with the programs team. He has contributed immensely to our work and we are grateful for his service. Find out what inspires Jose and which problem he would most like to solve.

Home: I was born in the Dominican Republic, but I am now living in East Brooklyn.

Education: I studied Medicine at the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic.

CMMB volunteer position: I am working with the programs team for four months.

Sum yourself up in two words: Virtuous and curious

Why CMMB? CMMB is a place I identify with. I was first attracted to CMMB’s mission. This organization offers me a place where I can truly be myself and share my own life purpose with others. CMMB allows me and motivates me to do what I love, while in the company of others who are motivated to do the same –  to reach those on the periphery and help them. Through CMMB I am able to become part of a team that makes a positive impact in the world.

What are you most proud of? I have been able to pursue my dreams against all tides, and I have been able to stay close to family while on this track. I have stayed true to myself and my values, and I have been able to persevere in my relationship with God.

Imagine you are stuck in an elevator. Who would you most like to be stuck with? And why? Anyone of my best friends. They are the ones with who I had my first encounter with Jesus; We all met Him at the same time. They have been my faith community ever since (12 years ago). We share everything in life; their mothers are my aunts, my mother is their mother. Every time one of us is married, the same group of groomsmen and maids are in the wedding. They are a very IMPORTANT part of my life. And anything, any experience, is wonderful with them . If I had to choose one of them for this example, it would be Jorge. He is the closest to me, because, above all we share this great passion for the gospel; he is a Jesuit novice.

What would your theme song be? “Now We Are Free” by Lisa Gerrard (Gladiator film Theme)

Imagine if you were an animal, which would you be and why? I would definitely be an eagle. First of all, its look is courageous and determined. The eagle knows what it wants and goes for it. Secondly, it can fly, so it is free to do what it wants at any time. Besides that, the eagle can be trained or domesticated, so it can feel safe, loved, and like it belongs to somebody.

These values: courageousness, determination, freedom and love, are the ones that I cultivate in my own life and for my loved ones.

What is your hope for your experience volunteering with CMMB? First and foremost, I look forward to learning a lot. I hope to acquire knowledge in terms of public health, management, etc, in order to fit in with the team. I want to be able to give valuable input as an intern. Also, I would love to really become part of the crew.

Favorite quote: “Non la scienza, ma la Carità ha trasformato il mondo.” – St. Giuseppe Moscati

What book should everyone read? Why? The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. I definitely encourage the teenagers of our time to read it, because most of the time I see that this last generation is lost; lost in purpose. Without a path to walk on and without a guide to walk with. It helped me very much when I was 12 years old, it gave me a clear method to define what I want in life and how to start.

What is your hope for the future? I hope to be part of a community or team that helps people in need everyday. I hope to  serve the poorest and most vulnerable for the rest of my life.

Favorite speech: Here’s to the crazy ones, by Steve Jobs.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

If you could solve one world problem, what would it be? Lack of purpose in teenagers’ lives. I would like to inspire them somehow.

What are the three things you are most grateful for? 

My best friends.

My family.

My stubbornness.

Who is your biggest inspiration? Why? St. John Paul II. He was able to identify his purpose when the world seemed to be falling apart. Even in miserable conditions, he found a way to serve the greater good. I believe I am in the same position.

I want to be a volunteer!