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Schweitzer Heathcare Fellowship sends CC Students to Central America

Five Christ College students traveled to Costa Rica and Nicaragua during spring break this year to take part in the Interprofessional Service in Health in Central America course in Valpo’s College of Nursing and Health Professions. For selected CC students their travel is sponsored by the Christ College Dean’s Annual Fund and the Schweitzer Healthcare Fellowship. The fellowship was established in 2003 to support Valparaiso premedical and nursing students as they served rural and urban communities in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. This year, the following students received the fellowship: senior John McCutchan (Aledo, Ill.), and juniors Brett Kelly (Dyer, Ind.), Emily Sallman (Farmington Hills, Mich.), Lauren Hargrave (Cherry Valley, Ill.), and Shari Duval (Green Valley, Ill.).

Upon returning from Central America, students described the immense impact the trip had on them both personally and professionally.

Emily Sallman, a biochemistry major, was greatly impacted by the people she encountered: “The people in these countries live very happy and joyful lives. They are grateful for all that they do have and the people, such as us, who are willing to help them in necessary aspects of their lives, such as health, that they may be lacking. Being able to apply this grateful and joyous outlook on life after returning to the US is what I think that I value the most from the trip.”

Brett Kelly, a chemistry and biology major, also learned from the people he encountered on the trip: “These people challenged our perspectives on our own culture through their strength, wisdom, perseverance, and genuine appreciation for the work we were doing. I believe that each student who went on the trip has been able to take something back regarding the contrast of culture we experienced, and that we will all continue to grow and shape ourselves through this understanding.”

All of the students expressed the enormous influence this trip will have on them for the rest of their lives.