Meet the Interns Summer 2015 part 2

2015 volunteer-3Name: Leema John

Hometown: Burnsville, MN 

School: University of Wisconsin-Madison

Major: Neurobiology & English 


How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I’ve always been interested in global health and medicine, and stumbled across MEDLIFE through a friend during the first few weeks of college. At first look, it seemed to encompass what I wanted to do at the time– to have a global health experience abroad. I went to Lima on a mobile clinic with my chapter in January of 2013, and it completely changed my view of the world. After learning about the work of MEDLIFE and its focus on sustainability through local promotion, I began to understand and value the core of its mission. I’ve been hooked ever since!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m passionate about healthcare, travelling, female empowerment, cultures around the world,  and delicious food. Oh, and of course, Beyoncé. 

Why did you decide to become an intern?: I’ve been involved with MEDLIFE for nearly three years as an executive board member and more recently, as a member of the Student Advisory Board this past academic year. Interning for MEDLIFE seemed to be the next step for me.  

What was your first impression of Lima?: That it is very busy and large. There are always people traversing through the roads at all times of theday!

What are your goals for this internship?: I really want to learn more about the public health issues in Lima, and the root causes of them. A recent video chat with the CEO of MEDLIFE, Nick Ellis, made me realize this. He said that the success of global health efforts are not measured in weeks or months, but rather, in decades. I hope to truly begin my contributions to this movement during this internship by translating my compassion into learning, listening, and understanding.

2015 volunteer-4Name: Lauren St. George-Schreder

Hometown: Bloomington, MN

School: UW-Madison

Major: International Studies


How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I heard about MEDLIFE through a friend of mine who encouraged me to come to a meeting my freshman year. After that first meeting I signed up for a trip to Lima that winter and loved it! When I returned I became involved as the Mobile Clinics Coordinator for our chapter and soon after joined the SAB. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am going to be starting my senior year at UW-Madison in the fall and am very interested in pursuing a career in Public Health. I love to travel, experience new cultures and learn about the world! 

Why did you decide to become an intern?: After being involved on the SAB, I really wanted to gain even more knowledge about MEDLIFE and do as much as I could to help the people in the communities. The summer internship seemed like the next step after that, and is one if the reasons I applied. I also really wanted to learn about the inner workings of an NGO and gain some professional skills that are involved in this type of work. 

What was your first impression of Lima?: My first impression of Lima when I came in January 2013 was that it was a different type of city than I had ever experienced. Being from a suburb of Minneapolis, I was used to that type of city, and Lima was very different. Lima struck me as very fast paced in the city with all the traffic and bargaining in the shops, but the further from the city center we got it really seemed to slow down more. The people were extremely friendly and welcoming, and that was wonderful. Overall I really liked the feel of Lima and especially how it seems to “have it all” in a way with the beach, city, food, nightlife, etc.. It was also very important but tough to see that the richest people live right over a wall from the poorest, and that was a very eye opening experience. 

What are your goals for this internship?: My goals for this internship are first and foremost to learn more about MEDLIFE and become more involved with helping the communities. I really hope that after having this experience I will be able to go back to the states and articulate MEDLIFE’s work better and spread the word about what we do in a more clear and motivational manner than I may have had previously. In addition to that, I hope to gain business and office skills from the office as well as learn about the inner workings of an NGO and understand more fully the roles that are to be filled in the internal of an organization like MEDLIFE.

2015-jakeName: Jacob Kincaid

Hometown: Northbrook, IL

School: University of Colorado Boulder

Major: Anthropology, Psychology, and Journalism


How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I found the internship listing on the Idealist.org and immediately knew this was the opportunity I had been searching for since graduating. When I got the acceptance email I got so excited I threw my phone at the pavement. Luckily, it was undamaged.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: My favorite things are reporting, rock climbing and travel, or more broadly, adventures. I have a very obsessive personality and am currently managing an addiction to salsa dancing brought on by my time in Latin America. 

Why did you decide to become an intern?: When I graduated college, I wanted to live in a different country, find work that constantly put me outside my comfort zone and make a positive impact in the lives of others through story telling. I couldn’t think of a better way to do that than by working with MEDLIFE.

What was your first impression of Lima?: Lima- not an easy city to pigeonhole. As a whole it is gritty and surreal, especially given the constant grey, dreamy lighting. Yet, the city has a great and vibrant energy. It is so vast, I feel like I can find anything I want here if I know where to look. I am so excited to explore and see what it has to offer! Oh and the food is incredible. 

What are your goals for this internship?: I want to produce great work in every medium, print, photography and video. I hope I can do justice to the amazing amount of great stories I have access to working with MEDLIFE. I want to improve my Spanish to the point where Spanish interviews are easy. Most importantly, I want to create an impact and further MEDLIFE’s mission. 

2015 EdwardName: Edward Doherty

Hometown: Southampton England

School: Southampton Solent University

Major: Television and Video production  



How I got involved with MEDLIFE: A buddy of mine in a similar career path seemed to be doing something much more meaningful with his skill set and I wanted in. He introduced me to an opening in the internship he was doing with MEDLIFE and next thing I know I found myself in Peru. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’d rather tell you someone else’s story. There’s a lot more interesting things out there than where I grew up and what I like to eat that need to be told, and I guess I like telling them. 

Why did you decide to become an intern?:  I am interested in photo journalism, travel journalism, and the chance to document not only different cultures, but the positive effects a non-profit can have within a community. An internship with MEDLIFE offers all these things and more, there was no decision needed. 

What was your first impression of Lima?: Every city in the world is different. However, Lima is the first I’ve been to that has its own climate or where I can travel a few hours on either side and find myself in such different places, be it coastline, desert, jungle or mountains. I don’t think anyone has ever been bored in Lima. 

What are your goals for this internship?: I want to document something that can make a change. If something I can produce can raise any awareness for MEDLIFE or even a single sol towards one of their projects, I’ve reached my goal. Learning a bit more Spanish would be nice too.




2015-MarielName: Mariel Fernandez

Hometown: Emerson, New Jersey

School: Dickinson College

Major: Latin American, Latino/a and Caribbean Studies


How I got involved with MEDLIFE: Although there isn´t a MEDLIFE chapter at Dickinson College, some of my friends from other universities were involved in chapters at their schools and had great things to say about MEDLIFE. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I graduated from Dickinson College just a few weeks ago where I majored in Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies and minored in Film and Creative Writing. That being said, I´m an avid writer and film watcher who loves all things Latin America! For my senior thesis, I wrote an ethnography on street art and graffiti in Lima. I spent about two months in Lima interviewing artists, observing, taking photos and even did some painting myself. 

Why did you decide to become an intern?: After studying abroad in Peru last spring, I knew that I wanted to work for an NGO in Peru once I graduated. After learning about MEDLIFE, I loved that all of our projects directly involve and uplift communities toward sustainable development. I worked at my college´s media center for three years where I created blogs, websites and  social media campaigns for various organizations and departments on campus so when I saw the job posting for MEDLIFE´s social media and journalism internship, it seemed like a perfect fit!

What was your first impression of Lima?: I absolutely LOVE Lima! The city is so big that it seems as if every time I go out I discover a new pocket of the city that I´ve never been to before. Each neighborhood is unique and vibrant in its own way. I love the colorful hustle and bustle of the city.

What are your goals for this internship?: I´d like to gain experience in the non-profit sector to learn and understand how NGOs operate. I´m interested in sustainable development in Latin America so I´d like to see how NGOs work to create lasting, sustainable change within these communities. In addition, I´d like to continue to improve my journalism and social media skills. 


Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.