Student-Athletes Volunteer at Project AlajuelitaJul 05, 2021
FIMRC volunteers make the world go round', but did you know that not all participants volunteer directly through FIMRC? Recently, we had Student-Athletes Abroad with Beyond Sports volunteer at FIMRC Project Alajuelita, Costa Rica, as the first on-site volunteers since COVID! We love partnering with foundations that share a common goal and couldn't be happier to share our space with these amazing students and introduce them to the world of global health.
About Beyond Sports
Founded in 2010, Beyond Sports is a foundation that offers international opportunities for U.S. college student-athletes and sports teams. This program includes volunteer opportunities, academic programs, international internships, and sports tours.
Beyond Sports targets student-athletes who demonstrate an immense need and motivation to succeed and provide educational, athletic, and professional skills and opportunities to succeed in the classroom, field, and professional realm.
Part of the curriculum involves volunteer opportunities and community service. During the fall of 2016, Beyond Sports re-branded the volunteer, academic, and internship programs under the name 'Student-Athletes Abroad' to offer increased volunteer and internship opportunities to university partners and student-athletes.
Beyond Sports And FIMRC
Beyond Sports and Student-Athletes Abroad are a third-party partner who has volunteered with FIMRC for five years offering hands-on experience and learning opportunities through international internships and volunteer programs. "We built our initial programs in Costa Rica around four-week Spanish intensive courses and two weeks of 'sports service' operating sports camps for local youth," explained Josh Erickson, Co-Founder of Beyond Sports. "A significant number of our student-athletes are pursuing medical or health-care-related degrees, and we decided to try and locate a partner organization in San Jose with extensive experience in health-care-related volunteer programming. We contacted several different local organizations in the San Jose area, but ultimately, we were impressed and inspired by the work of FIMRC." As a result, during the summer of 2017, Beyond Sports/Student-Athletes Abroad sent their first group of volunteer student-athletes to work at the clinic at Project Alajuelita.
"Most recently, we had three volunteers visit Project Alajuelita in the first half of June," says Tatiana Blanco, Field Operations Manager at FIMRC Project Alajuelita, Costa Rica. "They were extremely helpful as they participated in various clinic operations, including pharmacy inventory, organizing the Health Education Material database, clinical observations, and more."
As the first volunteers on-site since the pandemic began, it was essential to ensure safety measures were in place. "We made sure that all staff and volunteers were fully vaccinated before visiting on-site operations," explained Blanco. "When we needed to do group work, we worked in open spaces with good ventilation, and everybody was very conscious of washing hands frequently as well as before and after touching shared objects."
Having volunteers back on-site was not only extremely helpful in getting clinic operations operating smoothly, but incredibly rewarding to work alongside a group of students with a passion for helping others. In addition, each volunteer gained hands-on experience as they helped clinic staff prepare medications for patient delivery and had the opportunity to shadow during clinical consultations and discuss treatments and procedures with professionals in the field, including Dr. Karen and Ps. Patricia.
"Over the past five years, we have been proud to partner with FIMRC and provide volunteers to serve at Project Alajuelita," says Erickson. "Our student-athletes have been inspired by the commitment and dedication of the local staff at the clinic. Their volunteer experiences have been rewarding from both an academic and personal perspective. We look forward to many more years of partnering with FIMRC and their amazing team!"
Hear From Volunteers:
“Volunteering with FIMRC was a very eye-opening and hands-on experience! It was incredible to see the impact that we were making for both the clinic and its patients, and I loved learning about the healthcare field and creating strong friendships with the staff. We even got to practice our Spanish!" ~ Gracie Wenzel, Beyond Sports Student-Athlete and recent Project Alajuelita, Costa Rica volunteer
Volunteer At Project Alajuelita:
Did you hear that we are getting ready to travel again? Project Alajuelita, Costa Rica will open in-person volunteer opportunities beginning July 12, 2021. We can’t wait to see our #FIMRCFamily again!
Interested in volunteering abroad or participating in our virtual programs? Check them out below!
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