The most moving experience for me occurred on the second to last day in the village. One of the volunteers, Steve Griggs, brought a petite, slightly, 12 year old girl to me and explained that she had walked over 5 kilometers on her own (carrying her little brother) because she heard that there were doctors there. With Steve's help translating, Karen began to tell us how "all of her life" she has wanted to become a doctor, so she came to ask the YASC group how she could do this. As she spoke, her eyes lit up and she became very animated, describing how she would write out pretend prescriptions for her friends. She was so passionate and sincere, that it was hard to imagine her not achieving her goal. In spite of the fact that few children attend school beyond 6th grade, Karen was already in 7th grade. I decided to make it my mission to help Karen reach her goal.
With the aid of several YASC volunteers and friends, we are creating a scholarship fund for Karen Torcero. I am also looking forward to next year's trip to Leon where I hope to meet with Professors in the Medical Department of the University.
Christine Chiocchio: Christine is an artist and photographer in Stony Creek, Connecticut. In October, Christine exhibited her photography and videography at the James Blackstone LIbrary in Brandford, CT. All sales proceeds from the show went to the Karen Ximara Hernandez Tercero Scholarship Fund.