A Vision Born in Africa By Aprille Schoenecke

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.

Aprille with a baby in Togo