I'm a senior at Mizzou majoring in Biology and Spanish. I enjoy running and kickboxing and talking to people. I am very passionate about global health and health education, as well as cancer research. In addition to Global Brigades I am also very involved with Relay For Life on campus. I work at MizzouRec and love my job. I absolutely LOVE working with children and I teach a first grade class on Sunday mornings and pick up kids from school and help out at an after school program a couple days a week. I hope to have the opportunity to pursue pediatric medicine in the future.
Do you have any advice for new brigaders?
"Go into the brigade with an open mind and just be yourself! Go into the trip wanting to wake up every morning excited for the day and go to bed every night feeling accomplished."
What is something funny or odd that happened to you in country?
"On my trip to Nicaragua a couple of years ago, one morning before breakfast at our compound we stumbled upon a giant rhinoceros beetle only slightly smaller than my hand- it was huge! And for some unknown reason we decided to pick up the giant bug and put it on our shirts. Besides their sticky feet, rhino beetles are completely harmless, which I was extremely thankful for after it crawled all the way up to my neck. I'm not really sure why, but that morning with the rhino beetle was pretty funny. In fact, while thinking about it, I can still hear my friend Courtney laughing hysterically as the bug crawled closer and closer to my face."
What kind of realizations did you have while on the brigade?
"Dr. Bernabe, the mom of one of the students on our trip and a pediatrician, came with us to Honduras and saw many patients during our clinic days. Dr. Bernabe's passion for children and medicine were evident as she was so patient and upbeat with every single patient she saw. Dr. Bernabe is one of the sweetest and most caring people I have ever met and observing her in clinic and talking to her throughout the week helped me realize exactly what kind of doctor I hope to be one day."
"Having lots of energy, smiling often, and maintaining a positive attitude will make everyday a great day."
What was a memory that you made while on the brigade?
"On our last day in Honduras, after we had finished laying concrete floors all day, we stopped by the community of El Canton. Global Brigades used to send brigades to El Canton, but now it is a completely self-sustainable community. We visited a bakery there that was founded and is run by women of the community. We bought cookies and banana bread (if you know me you know how much I love banana bread) and relaxed after a fun day of hard work. Visiting El Canton was really cool because we got to see first hand how the holistic model of Global Brigades allows communities to grow economically and become fully self-sufficient."
What was your favorite thing about working in country?
"My favorite thing about working in Central America is conversing with the people of the communities. I really enjoy speaking Spanish, and actually my experience on my first brigade to Nicaragua inspired me to change my Spanish minor to a second major. I love learning about and partaking in the culture of the communities just as much as I love shadowing the doctors and helping out in triage. I also absolutely love working in Charla, which is the station where we teach children and adults hygiene basics and healthy eating habits. The people of the communities smile so much and are so happy that just thinking about all the people I've met right now is making me smile. It's so hard to pick just one favorite thing about working in country because I love all of it so much!"