Tina Radin, MSW
Interventions Coordinator, TEACH
MSW, Temple University BS, Health Communication Studies, James Madison University
I used to live in Washington DC and spent a few years doing HIV prevention, syringe exchange and sex worker outreach work. When I moved to Philadelphia, a colleague from that job pointed me towards Philadelphia FIGHT and told me they did the kind of work I was interested in. After doing some of my own research and coming in to meet with a staff member, I learned that Philadelphia FIGHT was exactly the kind of agency I wanted to work for. I’ve always felt strongly that access to healthcare is a basic human right, and I knew that my beliefs aligned well with the FIGHT mission.
I coordinate and teach the Project TEACH class. This is Philadelphia FIGHT’s signature education program, an eight-week HIV treatment education program for people who are living with HIV. In this class students learn that they can live a long, healthy, and fulfilling life with the virus, and that they can be their own best advocates.
There are so many moments that make me feel fortunate to be able to do the job I do, but the one that stands out most was at the end of the first semester that I taught the TEACH Class. I had the students fill out final evaluations where they were asked to share the most valuable lesson they learned from taking this class. One student wrote, “I learned that I am important and deserving of love.” That was the moment that I really understood the true value of this program and this organization!
I am motivated by the knowledge that my co-workers really believe in the work they are doing and are truly passionate about it. I am also motivated by the strength, resilience and drive that our participants have to overcome the challenges and barriers they face and make their own lives better. More than anything, though, I am motivated by the enormous legacy of Project TEACH, in Philadelphia and beyond. I have lost track of how many times I have heard or read a participant's account of how the Project TEACH program changed their life and has given them a renewed sense of hope. Knowing that I get to be a part of that is really something special.