Since my childhood, I have always been intrigued by people of other nationalities. I became aware of the lack of resources distributed globally while I watched the tsunami of December 2004 devastate thousands of people from East Africa to Thailand. Red Cross and many medical professionals offered themselves and sent resources for those affected by this natural disaster. After I saw the great need for medical professionals to respond to national disasters and serve where healthcare access is limited, I chose to complete my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. After gaining several years of work experience, I looked for opportunities to volunteer my medical skills in an under-served international location. I received training by Crisis Response International and GOMidwife before traveling to work at a bush clinic in Togo, Africa. I quickly fell in love with the vibrant Togolese people and volunteered to stay longer than I planned. I conducted prenatal care checks, delivered babies, and treated many patients who came in with Malaria and other sicknesses. My team and I also traveled from village to village to share community health teachings through visual aids, skits, and translators. I came away changed from those seven months in Togo. I realized, I wanedt to have my own medical school education to rely upon when other staff and resources are not accessible. I began to dream of the road less traveled: one could say my vision to become a medical doctor was born at a bush clinic in Africa. Now I am completing the last few SIU classes I need before I take the MCAT and apply to medical school. I am grateful for the skills LDP has already deposited in my life.
As a fellow mentee with Jessica, I had the opportunity to give back to my community this past weekend at the PUKA School childcare center here in Carbondale. While Jessica was planning this project, she approached me and asked for my help in one specific area. She planned to complete two different projects in one day: repainting a bookcase in the library and making a new roof for a shed located outside in the school yard. Unfortunately, due to the bad weather on the day of the project, the shed group was postponed. I was put in charge of the bookcase repainting, however, which we were able to do. Since Jessica no longer had two separate teams to lead, her and I worked together in leading the painting group. This was a helpful experience for me because I do not think that I am quite ready to lead a project like this on my own. Therefore, it was wonderful leading it under Jessica and having her as a safety net. Leading a project is a big responsibility, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to dip my toes into leading a service project before being put in complete charge of my own project. Jessica and I sat down before the project to plan everything out, discuss what materials we would need, talk about proper painting techniques, and come up with ideas on how this project can move smoothly while obtaining excellence. It seemed that if we did run into an unexpected problem, the team constantly worked to find solutions on their own. In the end, the bookshelf turned out really well! Continue reading
_____As exemplified by the Marvel superhero movies, people admire heroic leaders who step up to save the day. The LDP exemplifies core leadership traits that make an ordinary person into an extraordinary leader. In regular situations that do not involve a villain or imminent danger, people are naturally drawn to follow individuals who excel at what they do and authentically care about others. A strong leader leads by example and service. A leader exemplifies respect, honesty, empathy, dedication, and approachable accountability. A leader is faithful and dependable. People watch the leader’s actions to see if they follow through with what they say they will do. After showing consistency with the many small things, people will more easily entrust themselves to the leader whole heartedly. Many of the core values of the LDP, I also possess. However, there are several on top of these core values in which I excel. Continue reading