Name: Julia Chambers
Lship Position: Medical President
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Why you decided to join GB: I knew I wanted to be involved with an organization that focused on global health. Many groups on campus fulfill this aspect, but I chose GB because of its unique holistic model that approaches poverty from many different angles. This, to me, is how development work should be done and I was really excited to be a part of a thoughtful, inspiring, and empowering organization!
Favorite moment on a Brigade: I have so many favorite moments on brigade from the actual clinic days, playing with the kids, and medication preparation but what I really love is seeing how the community and the volunteers have a profound effect on each other and no one leaves brigade unchanged. I love seeing people’s eyes open to the world around them!
Name: Aaron Lapidus
Lship Position: Dental Co-President
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Why you decided to join GB: I wanted to get involved in global health work, and I really felt that the sustainability aspect of Global Brigades made an actual tangible change in the communities it was involved in. There are a lot of great groups on campus that do similar work as GMDB, but the holistic model of GB stood out to me as one that can actually work to solve long term issues, and made me more interested in getting involved.
Favorite moment on a Brigade: My favorite moment during the Panama 2013 brigade was when we went to the indigenous Arimay village and they performed a a rain dance for us. As they began dancing, a thunderstorm hit and it started pouring rain in the middle of the jungle. It was so surreal!
Name: Daniel Kadden
Lship Position: Vice President
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Why you decided to join GB: One of my friends went on a brigade and she had such a wonderful experience so I wanted to go and have similar experiences. After going on a brigade, I felt embarrassed at the affluence we take for granted everyday so I wanted to become a more integral part of Global Brigades to help raise the standards of living both in the countries we work in and in our own community.
Favorite moment on a Brigade: It is impossible to choose just one favorite moment but one that sticks out was when a Ghanaian kid named Yaw taught me how to count to eduonu (20) in Fante. It was really fun to learn and hang out with him as we made a great connection in such a short time. I’ll never forget his perseverance as I stumbled over the pronunciation of awotwe (8) a million times and his smile when I finally made it to eduonu.
Name: Christine Nguyen
Lship position: GDB Co-President
Hometown: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA (The OC)
Why you decided to join GB: My friend’s amazing and incredibly personal testimony of her experience in Ghana got me hooked. I wanted to embrace this time in my life to explore new things and go abroad. I loved GB’s mission for community empowerment and care for its volunteers.
Favorite moment on brigade: watching our in-country dentist, Dr. Juan do extractions in 17 seconds in the Panama dental clinic. It was a jaw-dropping moment every time. And that’s when I realized dentists are bosses.
Name: Marina Krygin
Lship Position: Financial Coordinator
Hometown: Ridgewood, NJ
Why you decided to join GB: My NSA during freshman year orientation was Jess Keane, who was the President of Global Medical Brigades at the time. Her passion for GB was infectious, and after going to an info session and hearing about all of the directors talk about the organization, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
Favorite moment on a Brigade: When I was on a brigade in Panama, there was a really sweet 10 year old girl I met during a doctor consultation on one of the clinic days. She was so nervous entering the doctor consultation, but she braved through it. She had a severe gash on her foot, which was a result of walking barefoot and was clearly painful. The doctor prescribed her some ointment and band-aids, telling her to apply both for several days and to make sure to wear shoes in order to help the wound heal and to prevent future injuries. On the last day of that brigade, we visited a community in Darien, the region of Panama we were staying in. A really sweet 10 year old girl ran up to me while we were touring community member’s homes and gave me a big hug. To my surprise, it was the same girl who had the injured foot a few days ago in clinic. She excitedly started telling me something in Spanish, and after realizing I wasn’t following, she took off her shoe and ever so proudly showed me that she was wearing the band-aids as the doctor had told her to, and the fact that she ran over to me meant that her wound was getting better. Despite the barrier that arose from our minimal knowledge of each other’s languages, I knew exactly what she was trying to communicate- the mixture of pride, joy, and gratitude was written legibly in her smile!
Name: Elyssa Schlossberg
Lship Position: Dental Donations Coordinator
Hometown: Beverly Hills, CA
Why you decided to join GB: I wanted to have what I knew would be an amazing experience volunteering abroad in a medical/dental setting, allowing me to not only provide crucial healthcare to an in-need community, but to also learn about beautiful cultures and ways of life very different from my own.
Favorite moment on a Brigade: This past summer in Honduras, in the dental rotation, I was assisting with an extraction. I was talking to the patient in an effort to make her feel comfortable and at ease, and I used my very basic Spanish skills to tell compliment her on the earrings she was wearing. Without saying a word the patient immediately removed the earrings from her ears and offered them to me. Of course I refused them while profusely thanking her for the generous offer and insisting that I liked them on her. That simple gesture, however, truly showed me the extent to which the people of the communities we visit are so appreciative for the work we do and the importance of the impact we make. It was a deeply touching moment, one which, along with the woman, I will not soon forget.
Name: Parker Beatty
Lship Position: Social Coordinator
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Why you decided to join GB: My whole life, people have invested their time, resources and effort into me. Joining GB felt like an avenue for me to give back to a world that has given me so much. We hear about the conditions in developing nations, but GB gave me a way to actively do something about it. Global Brigades uses a model that makes the progression of communities achievable because the model attunes to a variety of issues and focuses on sustainability at a grass roots level.
Favorite moment on a Brigade: I will never forget the times that I spent teaching and playing with children in the public health seminars in both Ghana and Honduras. The children are all so adorable and have the most beautiful smiles. But I have to say that I have never felt so welcome in a place so far away from home, when the community members of Ekumfi Ebuakwa honored our group with a welcoming ceremony. Alongside great speeches and dancing, there was a real welcoming embrace that you could feel just being there.
Name: Idean Roohani
Lship Position: Dental Fundraiser Chair
Hometown: Aliso Viejo, California
Why you decided to join GB: To expand on my desire to help others to other countries and widen my perspective of global health.
Favorite moment on a Brigade: Charla during clinic because I got to play with all the kids.
Name: Krishan Patel
Lship Position: Medicines Coordinator
Hometown: Calabasas, CA
Why you decided to join GB: I have always enjoyed traveling, and I was very impressed by the holistic model of Global Brigades. I am very interested in inequities in global health and development, and Global Brigades has helped shape my views on the topic and given me the impetus to pursue a career that involves global health.
Favorite moment on a Brigade: During December 2013, I went on a water brigade to Ghana. It was incredible beginning with an open patch of land and leaving with a rainwater harvester built by our very own hands and the hands of the family that we worked with in an inspiring partnership.
Lship Position: Medicines Coordinator
Hometown: Los Alamos, New Mexico
Why you decided to join GB: My New Student Advisor during my orientation session when I first arrived at UCLA had been on a brigade to Ghana and had pictures of the people that touched her life all over her dorm. I thought to myself, ‘I have to do that before I graduate’.
Favorite Moment on a Brigade: Being able to share the moment with a woman in Ghana who had discovered she was pregnant after coming to the GB clinic.
Name: Ekta Partani
Lship Position: Publicity Coordinator
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Why you decided to join GB: Ever since I was in high school I always wanted to go on a volunteer trip abroad, but never had the chance to. When I heard about Global Brigades through friends that had been on previous Brigades, I knew that I had to go on one. Hearing about their experiences in Ghana and Honduras was inspiring and I knew that I wanted to have the same experiences that they did. I wanted to learn more about healthcare around the world and to me, Global Brigades seemed like the best way to do that.
Favorite Moment on a Brigade: On our first day in community in Ghana, a little boy ran up to me and held onto my hand. He didn’t speak to me at all nor did he smile at all during the entire time I was there. But every single day he’d wait outside the clinic for me and silently hold my hand as we walked around. And finally on the last day, after I begged and pleaded in Fanti for him to tell me his name, he finally smiled at me for the first time and told me what it was. His name was Kofi and he had the cutest smile I had ever seen. Just realizing the ability that people have to make powerful connections with each other despite there being a language barrier and having so little in common was amazing and a lesson that I will always try to remember.
Name: Jennifer Luong
Lship Position: Donations Coordinator
Hometown: Anaheim, CA
Why you joined GB: GB combines two of my favorite things: Traveling and service. Why wouldn’t anyone want to join GB?!
Favorite moment on a Brigade: My favorite part of a Brigade is that I get to interact with people. I’ll never forget when I met a woman on a door to door visit who tried to teach me Fante so that I could share what I learned back at home, or the two girls who taught me how to play a traditional game, or a man who showed me his homemade wood carvings. I was in awe and still feel so blessed to be able to meet people with a beautiful and unique culture that I could share with my friends and family at home.