By Michaela Choppin
Several San Diego State nursing students went above and beyond recently to improve the health of San Diego’s population by serving veterans, supporting the homeless, assisting Iraqi refugees, and contributing to domestic violence awareness. Their community service projects started as an assignment under the guidance of SDSU professor Janet Finkel, but every student decided to continue their project passed what was required and went the extra mile to serve more people.
Recognizing them for their service and attitude, state Sen. Joel Anderson presented Senate Certificates of Recognition to the participants of the SDSU nursing program.
“While pursuing their passion in nursing, these students have selflessly improved the lives of so many around them,” Anderson said. “We’re so fortunate to have such public-service minded and well-educated nurses entering the workforce.”
Tess Thompson chose as her project to serve the refugee community in El Cajon.
“It’s eye-opening in El Cajon that we have such a large amount of Iraqi refugees, so it was really empowering to work with them,” Thompson said. “Language is a barrier for a lot of them, so to be able to go in and have translators talk about how we can provide care for them and educate them about antibiotics, nutrition and other things that they were interested in, is really great.”
Each student contributed at least 90 hours of service towards helping those in their communities. “It gave me a perspective that I never had before, because you’re actually out in the community, and it puts faces to real problems,” said Sandy Parksdale, another student in the program.
Each student came away with a new or changed view of their community and a deeper understanding of why health care is such a vital part of our lives.
“Building that health and wellness allows us to do everything else that we do,” Thompson said. “It’s what makes engineers go out and build buildings and roads, allows government to create a better society, and allows teachers to teach children. Without health, you can’t do any of that.”
—Michaela Choppin is a legislative intern who writes on behalf of Sen. Joel Anderson’s office.