Summer Volunteer: Dominican Republic Global Health Initiative

While Deerfield presents many opportunities for involvement, one thing that I am passionate about and committed to outside of Deerfield over the summer is global volunteer work.

The summer before the pandemic, I was able to participate in a global educational volunteer program in Costa Rica where I worked with young children teaching English. I also helped to paint their school, plant and maintain their gardens, and learned about their culture and traditions. Through evening seminar discussions, I learned about educational opportunities in rural areas throughout the world.

Having been encouraged to continue volunteer work by the previous program, I have chosen to volunteer on a Global Public Health and Medicine Initiative for two weeks in the Dominican Republic. Through this experience I will shadow medical professionals while they provide pro-bono consultations and service to patients in at-risk communities. I will have the opportunity to observe and assist in practices for providing health services and will spend time working in pop-up medical clinics learning about the differences between public health and medicine, and how community wellbeing depends on both. In these at-risk communities on the island, I’ll learn how crucial public health work can be in making a real difference between healthy and sick neighborhoods and learn how community engagement is crucial to breaking the cycle of poverty. Finally, I will be able to engage in nightly seminars to learn from the experts and doctors in the field.

Through the generosity of others and their donations, scholarship funds, along with working odds and ends jobs, I was able to raise the funds to participate in this invaluable experience. I would like to thank all of those who helped me. I am looking forward to the next two weeks and letting you know of my experience. Be Worthy of Your Heritage.

Thank you!
Alex Fontecchio ’24