23 Years Old
Hello, all! I'm Ashley, a born and raised Michigander, global warming and environmental sustainability enthusiast, caregiver and adventure seeker. I am a recent college graduate from Western Michigan University where I received my Bachelors in Science with a focus on Holistic Health. After taking my well-needed year and a half off of school, I plan to attend Physician Assistant school and (hopefully) join the Doctors Without Borders Program to learn and practice different alternative medicines around the world. Coming this October, I will officially ditch this crazy midwest weather and make the big move to the west coast to reside in Portland, Oregon. When I find the time, I enjoy reading, brushing up on my "español", exploring new hiking/biking trails, practicing yoga, going to live music around town, attempting to get my short fingers to practice piano, and spending as much time with my family and friends while I'm still living in the Midwest.
My first experience in a developing country was a couple of years ago in Costa Rica. I spent two months exploring the country and volunteering at a local nursing home where I experienced the disparities there in first hand. Growing up in America, I never truly realized how privileged I was before this trip. While living with my Costa Rican family, there were many days the city was short on hot water, which meant taking many cold showers. We didn't have air conditioning, which meant the doors and windows stayed open during the day no matter how bad the bugs got at times (and trust me, they were bad, especially around meal times.) But these conditions were far from the worst conditions throughout the country. This experience is what gave me the motivation to make a difference and improve the lives of others who were unfortunately dealt a bad hand in life.
When I heard about the Malawi project with One Pulse and Partners in Health, I was more than eager to join the team. Traveling to Africa has been a bucket list item of mine for years. Now, not only am I going to be able to explore Africa, but I get to do it by biking AND help Malawians in need! I can't lie, I'm a little nervous, but so excited to be pushed mentally and physically and see just what I'm capable of achieving.