2009 Grant Recipient - Melissa Adelstein
As a middle class American, I have been fortunate enough to always have my basic needs met including access to food, shelter and health care. Additionally, I have had the opportunities to gain a quality education and to enjoy leisure activities, such as ultimate Frisbee. I believe that all individuals deserve access to basic human rights, such as proper sanitation and health care. However, due to the structure of global privileges many people, especially those is Latin America, are denied these rights.
After graduating with my Master’s degree in May, I have plans to volunteer abroad for six months with two service organizations, Primeros Pasos and the Center for Development in Central America, where I will give my time and skills to serve severely underprivileged rural and mountain communities in Nicaragua and Guatemala. I hope through this work, I will be able to provide some of the same opportunities I have experienced with people in these less developed countries.
This service project will give me the opportunity to:
* Be a conduit for cultural awareness in Central America and in North America by sharing my experiences with my community and those I come in contact with.
* Learn Spanish, which will allow me the ability to converse with Spanish speaking patients in healthcare settings who might not otherwise get the proper treatment and care, because they are misunderstood. This opportunity will also provide me with hands on experience in the health care setting that upon return, I can use to help those in need in my own community.Working with underserved cultures in Central America will provide an experience that will carry over into helping underserved individuals in my own country.
* Introduce the game of Ultimate Frisbee to promote physical activity and facilitate community collaboration. This is a hard working culture that gets plenty of survival-dependent "exercise" daily, but ultimate frisbee may provide an outlet for a fun activity which is great for physical well-being, mental well-being, and community building. I'd love to get a community league going or start an after school program teaching ultimate frisbee to the children.