SJSU community clinic offers free services from student providers

Inside the Healthy Development Community Clinic, you'll find countless services from mental health, to nutrition, to speech pathology.

All are free and provided by San Jose State University students.

"Personally speaking, we've just seen such amazing benefits," says Lauren Vizcaino, who brings her daughter here for speech therapy.

These are extra services she couldn't otherwise afford. And she says she's been impressed by the students' skills.

"But then you also have really close oversight from the supervisors who will absolutely kind of come in and direct on best practices. So it doesn't feel like you're just along for the ride on an experiment," Vizcaino says.

For the students, the benefit is hands-on experience. Some of them are getting master’s degrees, others are undergrads.

"It's been amazing. I have learned so much working with different types of communities, different age groups," says Arianna DeRosa, a psychology major.

With this clinic, that's been the goal: a symbiotic relationship where the students and community both get what they need.

"They'll get really excited, or they'll be like ‘Oh, these are free services?’ And we're like ‘Yeah please stop by if you ever need anything.' So I think that's been the most rewarding part," says Nayeli Albino, also a psychology major.

The director keeps adding services based on feedback. There are now 14 SJSU departments involved.

"There might be barriers related to transportation, to time, to knowledge, to language to money. So to be able to come to a space that is free and have all of these resources in one location is an invaluable resource to the community," says Dr. Cara Maffini, director of the Healthy Development Community Clinic, who is also an SJSU professor.

Alina Aupathan, a fourth-year psychology major, understands what it's like. She remembers the language barrier and the frustration she felt trying to get services for her family.

"So having the opportunity to come and to give those resources to people who might also be going through the same thing is really meaningful to me because I wasn't able to find these resources easily," she says.

The clinic has been open just over a year and is still trying to attract more families from east and south San Jose. They've started outreach on social media and are planning extra programs throughout the holidays.

"So, in many ways, I would say it far surpassed even our expectations and our hope for this," says Maffini.

While the clinic is located on the campus of Oak Grove High School, it is open to everyone. You can visit their website or their Instagram at @sjsuhealthydev.