“If I’m walking down the riverbank, and a man is drowning, even if I don’t know how to swim very well, I feel this urge that the right thing to do is to try and save that person.” -Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health
My name is Daniel Guerriero and I am Mission: Restore’s spring intern and will be continuing my internship through August as the Summer Research and Data Coordinator. I am a current graduate student at the New York University College of Global Public Health, pursuing my master’s degree in public health with a focus on community health science. I chose to include the quote above from Francis Collins because I feel as though it represents my exact feelings towards global public health and the issues weighing against society. I remember the first instance I felt as though “I needed to save a stranger from drowning” was on vacation to Mexico when I was in middle school. My family and I had spent a day enjoying all our resort had to offer. Later that day, we went out into town and saw what life was like outside of the resort. Seeing children my own age living in subpar housing conditions, walking on dirt roads without any shoes, and looking particularly famished made me incredibly grateful for the life I was given. From that point on, I knew I wanted to help those in need in whatever way I could.
Prior to my final year at the University of South Carolina, I traveled to Thailand for a community development project. I got to work with vulnerable people belonging to the northern hill tribes to ensure a supply of clean water within their village. Following my senior year, my studies took me to Valencia, Spain where I interned with La Fundación Diagrama. In Spain, I had the opportunity to work with children with mental illnesses and disabilities. Throughout the year following graduation and before starting my graduate program, I worked with an organization called LIG Global. This was the beginning of my experience in global surgery work. With LIG, I traveled to Peru and the Dominican Republic to assist with the organization and facilitation of surgical missions where the doctors performed cardiovascular, OBGYN, and general surgeries.
I believe that my internship with Mission: Restore will provide me with the necessary experience and skills to achieve my goal of eventually working as a director of a non-profit health organization. I look forward to all that the future with Mission: Restore has in store for me!