Sara Schendel

Name: Sara Schendel

Participation Year(s): 2007

Current Role: Physical Therapy Doctorate Student

3 Words to Describe GV: Hands-on, Leadership, Inspirational

“GV taught me that with privilege comes the responsibility of giving back to the world.”

When Sara Schendel participated in Global Visionaries, she got an opportunity not many other high school students had – the opportunity to travel abroad. Not only did this allow Sara to see a world entirely different than her own, but it also taught her how to be fearless. During her time in Guatemala, Sara learned that you can always find a connection with someone, regardless if they come from a different background or even if they speak a different language. Sara is still thankful that Global Visionaries opened her up to firsthand experience that went far beyond what any textbook could have taught her.

“GV gave me the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and experience a culture other than my own.”

Sara is now a graduate student working towards a doctorate degree in physical therapy. She plans to donate her knowledge and skills to countries who are lacking funds for basic healthcare. During her trip to Guatemala, Sara spent a lot of her time volunteering in the local hospital. While there, she saw many patients whose disabilities would have been minimal if they had access to physical therapy. However, basic healthcare isn’t accessible to many Guatemalans – a cultural difference that hadn’t occurred to Sara prior to her visit. Without the means to tend to their ailments, the patients’ conditions worsened to the point that they required a hospital visit. Sara credits her time with Global Visionaries as helping to shape her career choice of physical therapy.

“This experience opened my eyes to the importance of basic healthcare and showed me that many people around the world do not have it.”

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