Traditionally, we take this opportunity to introduce you to new FIMRC staff members. Today is a bit different. We want to take a moment to give a special shout out to Delaney Scollan, Project Limón's Volunteer Coordinator, and to reflect on her time as part of the FIMRC Nicaragua Team.
Tomorrow marks Delaney's last day at Project Limón and we couldn't be more excited for her to pursue her dreams of becoming an OB/GYN, but we are sure going to miss her on-site! Throughout the past three years, Delaney has coordinated over 700 volunteers, served as a translator, expanded FIMRC's homestay network, created a reproductive health education plan for children in local schools, and so much more! Delaney, thank you for your commitment to FIMRC's mission and for all that you accomplished!
Below is an excerpt from Delaney's interview with GoOverseas, including a reflection on her time as Volunteer Coordinator as well as her hopes for the future of international education.
HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED/GROWN SINCE WORKING FOR YOUR CURRENT COMPANY?
Working for FIMRC in rural Nicaragua has had a profound impact on my life and my character. I've become more confident and self-aware through having learned most things the "hard way" and having to convey what I needed without knowing the Spanish words, like "toilet paper" for example, in moments of crisis! I've learned to live with less and have acquired a new-found perspective on what should be valued in life and the importance of achieving happiness and success based on one's own standards. I have gained appreciable patience while working in Nicaragua and feel confident in my abilities to work independently. Some of my greatest challenges have occurred in this job setting, thus, to have overcome them has proven incredibly fulfilling. Contrarily, some of my fondest moments have occurred at FIMRC, and for that I will be forever grateful.
Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of your current team.
Our FIMRC site partnered with a photo journalist to showcase our Women's Health program, as a means to raise funds for a new OB/GYN consult room. As the photographer took photos of the women, I asked each of them to comment on FIMRC's work in the community and express their thoughts on our programs. Their answers were touching: some women told me that it "was a blessing that FIMRC founded a site in their community." Others said that they "are so lucky to have professional services at such fair costs and they they hope we never leave." Many women hugged me after talking. I was moved by their appreciation for our services and felt so proud to be a member of our incredible team.
What about the future of the industry? How do you think study or intern abroad and international education will change over the next 10 years?
While working in Nicaragua, I met two students who I thought were working internationally post-college, as I was, on account of their maturity and independence. I was surprised then, to find out that they were 19 years-old and were completing a gap year before attending college. I thought this was wonderful and wished that I had considered it when I was 18! International travel makes one more self-aware and changes one's perspective about life and success. Acquisition of a foreign language and assimilation into a different culture greatly influences character in ways that prove beneficial in all future endeavors. Getting to see other countries and learn on a first-hand basis helps individuals make more informed decisions about future career and academic paths. I believe (and hope) that within the next 10 years, international education will be a more standard and highly encouraged component of secondary and university programs.
Delaney, you're amazing! We wish you all the best and hope to have you back in Nicaragua very soon!