Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Pulling teeth and making an impact

Name: Delaney Dowell
From: Chico, CA
Grade: High School Junior
School: Chico High
Votes: 0

have spent much of my time as a high school student volunteering for
various organizations. I volunteered at the local hospital for two
and a half years, 2 hours every week. I also volunteered at my church
by working in the nursery and being on worship team every week. Also
with my church, I have helped serve at the local homeless shelter
serving breakfast to people less fortunate early on Sunday mornings.
But, one of my favorite volunteer areas and the one that I have been
able to see the most impact was on a trip I took to Mexico over
spring break. I had to chance to accompany a dentist and his team on
a medical missions trip where we went for a week to a very poor part
of Mexico to serve the local people. Having no dental experience, as
I am only a senior in high school, I learned a lot. I was taught how
to give shots of anesthesia, how to assist the doctor with suction
and how even how to pull teeth! This trip was very tiring as we
worked from 7 in the morning till 6 at night serving these people who
walked to us and took off full days of work to be able to come to
this free service we were so willingly able to offer. though I was
able to do some very cool things, such as pulling teeth and giving
shots, I was also left to do much of the dirty work when things got
busy. My Spanish skills were put to use in translating for the doctor
and his assistants when they needed to inform a patient about what
procedures were being done or ask about their pain among other
things. Lots of the time I was in the sterilization room, alone,
cleaning off flesh and blood from the tools that needed to be quickly
but thoroughly washed before the doctor would use them again. This
was tedious but turned out to be very fun and interesting. The
monotonous sterilization turned out to be quiet satisfying as the
tools I was cleaning were usually what was needed next by the doctor
and his assistants. I learned a lot about patients and how important
it is to do a thorough job at whatever you are working on.

I want to be a nurse, I am eager to be volunteering in any medical
setting possible. This trip along with volunteering at the hospital
allow for me to look to my future. They allow me to make my life,
even now as a high school senior,
. They give some purpose and
meaning to my life and to this world. This trip has allowed us to
make a huge impact on the people of this country. We have brought
them not only tools to clean their teeth but also tools in the form
of knowledge. Ten, twenty, thirty years down the road, these peoples
lives will be forever changed.

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