Helping Your Local Community
Kayla Paulosky (senior)
My name is Kayla Paulosky and I am a senior, sadly about to finish up my last semester at Penn State. After I graduate, I plan on going to medical school and becoming a doctor that works in developing countries as well in the United States. When I was sophomore in high school I began to develop an interest in global health. I read a book about a doctor who built clinics in developing countries and trained local staff to run the clinics, and I was instantly inspired. Since then my passion for global health has continued to grow. Whenever I hear or see something about a global health issue, I am instantly drawn to it and sucked in. As I read and learn more about the health issues in the world today, my eagerness to help continues to rise. However, last year I realized that my gravitation and focus on global health had left me blind to the people right in my own community who still needed all the health care assistance I would be fighting for abroad. Empower Orphans Penn State helped me realize this.
I remember the first ever Empower Orphans Penn State Chapter meeting I attended, it was actually the first meeting the club ever had. I could feel the energy to make a difference fill up the room. One of the first exercises the exec board presented to the general body used colored note cards that corresponded to an amount of children and they put on chairs in the meeting room. They used the cards to talk the amount of children living in poverty in just Centre County and the United States. It was in this moment that I realized that I had overlooked all the work I could have been doing to help people in my own community because I was focused on what I would be able to do in the future abroad.
Although, helping abroad is an amazing thing it should not be the only thing we are focused on. At any given time there are 415,000 children in the foster care system and there are 16 million children in the United States living in poverty. Poverty is not just in developing countries; it is all around us here in the United States. While I still have the same goals I did a year ago, I have opened my eyes to the ample opportunities to help in my own community and I encourage everyone to do the same. Get involved in your local community; here at Penn State we have so many opportunities available to us. Make the impact in our local community I wish I had the chance to make.