MARCH 16, 2016 – Over spring break, Neena Aggarwal (NHS’17) participated in a service trip to Honduras as a part of the Georgetown University Global Medical Brigade.
The international health major from Massachusetts serves as a board member of the organization, which, according to its Web site, “provides sustained health care to international underserved communities through medical service trips.”
“We saw hundreds of patients throughout the week, and the community was very grateful,” says Aggarwal, who notes that the group of students worked alongside physicians and community health workers at a rural health clinic.
Aggarwal adds that clinic activity ranged from health education and data input, to medical consultations and gynecological, dental, and pharmacy services.
“This was also a very impactful, eye-opening, and thought-provoking experience for the students who participated,” she says. “For many, it affirmed a decision to pursue a career path in health or medicine . . . . For others, it fostered a deepened understanding of humanity, service, and the world. Essentially, the impact on both us and the community in Honduras was enormous.”
In addition to her work with Medical Brigades, Aggarwal serves as the outreach deputy for GIVES, “an organization in which we promote kindness by doing weekly random acts of kindness around campus as well as service projects in our greater D.C. community.”
Some of her favorite acts, she highlights, involved providing hot cocoa to facilities workers who cleared campus of snow and preparing breakfast at Community Family Life Services, which offers services to people experiencing homelessness.
When not working on her studies or serving the community, Aggarwal says “one of my favorite things to do in my spare time is explore D.C. with friends” with Jazz in the Gardens at the Sculpture Gardens being one of her most enjoyable memories.
Majoring in a field that works to improve lives has inspired Aggarwal, who appreciates the International Health Program’s tight-knit feel and expert faculty.
This coming fall, she will participate in the major’s international health practical experience abroad.
“I am really excited to go abroad, especially because this experience is one of the main reasons I chose Georgetown,” she says. “I’m most looking forward to becoming familiar with a different culture and place and gaining a better understanding of life in a developing area. I am also excited to apply what I have learned in the international health classes over the past year to a practical experience.”
Looking back, Aggarwal says she is happy she chose Georgetown for her undergraduate studies. “One thing I love about Georgetown is the community of people,” she says. “Even though this sounds cliché, I have gotten to know so many kind, determined, and socially aware people, and I love being surrounded by this community every day.”