Stephen John of Portage, Mich. and Joseph Barnett of Kalamazoo, Mich., two premedical undergraduate students studying at Western Michigan University, have been moved by their volunteer experiences in Honduras and Nepal. They are now embarking on a journey to positively impact young people and solve a problem of global significance.
Stephen grew up in Nepal and returns every summer to volunteer at the United Mission Hospital in Tansen; he is currently there now. While there, he will be helping to repair medical equipment in the biomedical department, tutoring in math and science at a local school, teaching tae kwon do and music, as well as preparing for clinical trials of the invention he is working on with Joseph.
Joseph started working with students in Honduras after hearing of a shortage of teachers there. He has been to Honduras six times in the past five years, where he has driven school buses, and led clothing donation efforts. Joseph plans to volunteer as a teacher in Honduras for one year before attending medical school.
Lessons learned abroad have motivated Stephen and Joseph to ensure medical centers in developing countries are well equipped. The have developed the NeoVent—a respiratory solution for premature infants around the world.