Maya Scherr-Wilson, Spanish Literature, Class of 2013

As a recipient of a McGill Lawrence Summer Internship Award, Scherr-Wilson will work with the foundation La Isla, in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua this summer. La Isla’s main objective is to support the communities in the area that have been afflicted by Chronic Kidney Disease, which affects 70% of the local population. The foundation works with local institutions to do epidemiologic research, educate workers, and support impacted families through community development projects. At the foundation, Scherr-Wilson will conduct research on human rights abuses by contributing to and analyzing a database of those abuses and of health surveys in the surrounding communities in order to propose direct intervention to aid families in need of medical or other support. Scherr-Wilson will also use her skills as a tutor, counselor, and mentor, to teach public health classes and English lessons to the children of the community in order to foster dialogues about Chronic Kidney Disease. She also looks forward to being exposed to fascinating issues of environmental conservation and education, international law, community development, and human rights advocacy and to the opportunity to further develop her Spanish skills. Scherr-Wilson writes, “I believe that this two-pronged approach of working directly with the community in addition to doing analytic work with the organization, which has the ability to implement change, will create a sustainable outcome for the lives of the people of Chichigalpa and surrounding areas.”

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