50:50 Campaign Spotlight: Kourtney Wathen

Kourtney Wathen is a student from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington who raised $2,585 for her trip to Riobamba, Ecuador through the 50:50 campaign this past spring. Read below to learn about how she fundraised for the campaign and her experience in Riobamba, and read more about the 50:50 campaign here.

How did you first hear about MEDLIFE?
We had a speaker come and talk to us and show us a presentation. We didn’t have a chapter yet, but after that talk, we started a chapter during my freshman year.kourtneywathen
What made you decide to do the 50:50 campaign?
I decided to do the 50:50 campaign after discussing the trip with my parents. They wanted to help, but they did not want to pay entirely out of their own pocket, and they felt that I was responsible enough to figure out my own financial endeavors. I agreed with them totally, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it on my own. Being a full-time student with no job, it can be difficult to fund mission trips like the MEDLIFE Mobile Clinics.

How did you raise the money for your campaign?
I started by composing a letter, roughly one page long, about my mission, and I explained the goals of MEDLIFE as an organization. I elaborated on the purpose of the 50:50 campaign, and I concluded with the link to my page. Next, I printed out these letters and addressed them to local businesses in my home town and hand-delivered them. I got way more responses than I thought I ever would. I also posted my link almost every other day on my social networking sites, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I kept up the publicity on my trip and always included a little fact or a story to go along with my post to keep people interested. I also sent out an email to all of my friends and family with a summarized version of the initial letter that I wrote. I made a presentation in my church and asked for their support. Overall, I was overwhelmed by the number of people that donated to my mission trip. I come from a very loving, close-knit community, and for that, I am beyond grateful.

Why would you recommend that students participate in the 50:50 campaign?
I would recommend that students participate in the program because it is a great way to raise money for MEDLIFE as an organization. It really opens up the possibility for a lot of students to go if they put in the work for it. I know there are many students that are just like me that might need help funding volunteer trips like this, and the campaign makes it possible.

What was your favorite part about the Mobile Clinic?
The people were what made my Mobile Clinic experience memorable. In terms of stations, I really enjoyed inscriptions because I really got to talk to the people. I am a Spanish major, so I got to use all of my Spanish to really connect and interact with the people.  During my time at the toothbrush station, I met a young girl and we talked one on one for several minutes. She was laughing and was just so happy to be there; I felt we really connected.

What were your impressions of Riobamba?
I really enjoyed Riobamba. It was an unforgettable, eye-opening experience. Seeing the differences in culture, poverty, and even food was really interesting. It baffles me that some communities live in such desolate conditions, and it has led me to think about and be thankful for what I have, and for being able to go on that mission to Ecuador in the first place.


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.