Joanna Schneider '13
Student Director forBig Brother, Big Sister
Major: Sociology modified with Psychology; Minor in Chemistry
Other Campus Involvements: DOC; General Manager of Big Green Bus
Fun fact: She got involved in Big Brother, Big Sister in high school, over 7 years ago!
The Tucker Fellowship Program allows committed Dartmouth students to invest in their personal growth and liberal education by serving others in need outside the United States. Tucker Fellows are students who learn by serving others in full-time, individual community service projects during their leave terms. Some examples of Tucker Fellowships are: teaching in urban schools, working with homeless shelters, staffing refugee centers, providing legal aid, serving medical projects abroad and working with physically or emotionally challenged children. Stipends are provided for living expenses.
"My first day at the hospital in Guatemala I felt like I had stepped into the pages of a Charles Dickens novel set in Latin America. I arrived to find the 26 kids in my area just finishing up breakfast and getting their teeth brushed and their clothes and diapers changed for the morning. All of them suffered from severe cerebral palsy made worse by malnutrition. Most were confined to wheelchairs and only a few could talk. As soon as I walked through the gate a little boy named Rodrigo stopped eating dirt and came over and put his arms around my waist. The nurses told me to take him and another little boy named Yony who was in a wheelchair for a walk to the park. I soon discovered that Rodrigo got tired of walking quite easily and that pushing Yony's wheelchair over the cobblestone streets was quite difficult. Although the work was exhausting at first - washing dishes, folding laundry, taking care of kids who were unable to do even the simplest thing for themselves - my 10 weeks at Las Obras was an amazing experience. Las Obras Sociales is a 500 bed permanent residence for people of all ages with physical and mental handicaps. There is also an outpatient facility where discounted services are provided by doctors who come from around the world to volunteer their skills. Although the hospital lacks so much and is nothing like a facility in the United States, so many people benefit from its services. Three new little girls both abandoned by their parents arrived while I was there and it was incredible to see how much better their health became over such a short period of time. The week after I left 17 new children were expected to arrive. Although most kids didn't talk, I realized how many different ways there are to communicate with sick kids and I now have 29 best friends in the ward where I was working plus numerous other special amigos from the other areas of the hospital."
- Rebecca Taxier
Last Updated: 3/14/13