PROMPT: Peace Corps service presents major physical, emotional, and intellectual challenges. In the space below, please provide a few paragraphs explaining your reasons for wanting to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer and how you plan to overcome the various challenges associated with Peace Corps service (less than 500 words)."
From the time we are able to form complete sentence we are asked, what in theory seems like a very straight forward question: "What do you want to do when you grow up?" Most individuals respond with a profession. My answer has always been "I want to make a lasting impact on the world." Since I was in fourth grade I thought my pathway for achieving this goal was through medicine. Doctors fix people, so that's changing a life right? After a few years in college I shifted my gears. I realized that that I could help people on a larger scale, Public Health.
I went to go volunteer at a local orphanage in Nepal. While in Nepal, I saw so many people that needed medical attention in the orphanage and in the city. The problem though, wasn't that there wasn't enough doctors and nurses. It was the fact that the public was uneducated in matters of their own health and had little access to medical personnel, because the hospital was so far. It was really hard seeing so many people that I could do nothing for. I decided that if I could not help the people out in the city, I could do something about the kids at my orphanage.
I met a married couple (a doctor and nurse), while on a trek in the Himalayas and I reached out to them. I knew this a long shot, and didn't even know if they were still in town, but at this point it was worth a try. I received an email from the doctor and his wife, and they were happy to come out for the day to help out. The monk that ran the orphanage was ecstatic about the help his kids were going to receive. The doctor came out, bandaged up some of the kids and was even able to provide glasses for two of the children. To say the least, it was a very exciting day at the orphanage. The next day the volunteers at the orphanage and I were able to teach the children how to clean cuts and open sores so they wouldn't get infected. While the kids practiced putting Band-Aids on each other, I got to take a step back and be amazed at how they were so excited about helping each other.
My long term goal is to be able to partner with local doctors and nurses and provide a monthly mobile clinic that goes to underserved communities. The mobile clinic would provide medical and dental assistance to the community. The service would be free as long as the individuals attend a class that provided them information on sexual health, vaccinations, or personal hygiene etc. Even though I am a long way from this goal, I feel that this volunteer opportunity would be the perfect stepping stone from me. It would allow me to learn ways to educate a community and outreach methods. I want to be able to not only change a life, but teach them to change others' lives.