Phi Beta Kappa and Biochemistry Peer Learning Assistant Madison Read (Biology (B.S.) and Psychology (B.S.), Spanish minor) plans to serve as advocate to people as a doctor, helping them realize their full potential to take control of their health:
During my freshman year, an older friend invited me to a CURE body meeting, and I fell in love with the mission of the organization. CURE at UGA is a campus organization that sponsors a hospital overseas through CURE International, a nonprofit that provides care for children in underdeveloped countries with treatable conditions such as hydrocephalus and clubfoot. Many of the children that come to the CURE hospitals have physical disabilities that cause them to be stigmatized and cast out of their communities—a heartbreaking reality. However, when they come to the CURE hospital, they not only receive medical treatment for their condition, but they are also reminded of the hope of the Gospel and that they are loved and valued despite their condition. Having the opportunity to partake in this mission alongside some of the best humans has been one of my biggest highlights. During my sophomore year, I served on the CURE Executive Board as director of CURE relations, and I transitioned to director of members during my junior year. Currently, I am honored to serve as the executive director. Getting to plan fundraising events and raise awareness about the stories of our CURE kids has been one of the greatest joys during my time at UGA.
After becoming involved with CURE on UGA’s campus, it was a dream of mine to visit one of the CURE hospitals and meet some of the CURE kids we support. This dream became a reality this past summer through the Honors International Scholars Program. My summer began at the AIC CURE International Hospital in Kijabe, Kenya, where I was able to shadow surgeries, interact with the patients and their families in the hospital wards, and accompany hospital staff on a patient home visit. I was absolutely blown away by the hospital outreach efforts and holistic approach to care that they take.
After my time in Kenya, I flew to Ghana where I participated in the UGA FACS Ghana Service-Learning Program alongside 12 other students and our fearless leader, Dr. Anderson. The small program size helped our group become incredibly close-knit, and I am so thankful for the friendships formed on the program. During our time in Ghana, we traveled to various communities, performed health screenings, and assisted Dr. Anderson with nutrition counseling. We also were also able to shadow local physicians at Princess Marie Louise Children’s Hospital and the Greater Accra Regional Ridge Hospital during which I learned a great deal about the challenges that developing countries face in regards to health care. I am forever indebted to my time in Ghana for opening my eyes to the importance of preventive health care and instilling in me a newfound passion for nutrition education and global health.
An important set of UGA experiences on campus and abroad has helped Read prepare for a future helping people. We're sure that she will continue to create special communities wherever she goes.