Alexis Collier

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Lincoln University

Heinz Programming Area:
Children, Youth, and Families
International Experience Summary:

There were two main parts to Alexis Collier’s ten week international study abroad experience in Lima, Peru. The first four weeks involved taking classes on topics such as international policies and marketing strategies in one of the best and most expensive Universities in Peru, Universidad del Pacifico. While taking these classes Alexis gained a better understanding of Peru’s economic condition as well its involvement in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The first four weeks of her experience also included a trip to Macchu Picchu, which is named one of the world’s seven wonders. At Macchu Picchu, Alexis witnessed the Incan religious and royal customs that remained hidden Spanish soldiers. She also witnessed more of the Andean culture of Peru, which she realized was quite different than her experience in Lima. The last six weeks of her experience involved volunteering at two different placements: Aprendo Contigo and Casa McDonald del Peru. Aprendo Contigo is a nonprofit organization located in the public children’s hospital, Hospital del Nino. This organization is dedicated to helping sick children stay on track with homework assignments as well as putting a smile on their faces by just playing with them. While working with Aprendo Contigo, Alexis interacted with patients from all different sectors of the hospital, including infectious disease, gastronomy, dermatology, ICU, and trauma. She helped children solve fractions, identify colors, and list adjectives while standing at their bedside table. When they were finished with homework, she relished every game of Monopoly, Uno, and Connect four. Casa McDonald del Peru is the first Ronald McDonald house in Peru and provides a home for the families of sick children. While volunteering at Casa McDonald, Alexis provided a helping hand in any of the household duties that needed to be done, which including cleaning, organizing clothes drives, helping guests move into rooms, attending emotional therapy sessions and more. When she wasn’t studying or volunteering, she spent her time exploring Peru’s more popular districts: Miraflores and Barranco. Before she left the vivacious city, she even had the opportunity to go paragliding along the Coast of Verde.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Real Hunger Game

About 13.1% of the human population or 1 billion people go to bed hungry every night because they do not have access to food.  A large proportion of these people are children and these hungry children are dying at alarming rates every day.  The incredible fact of this situation is that the resources to feed all 7 billion humans are available. The purpose of the "Real Hunger Game" event was to raise awareness of international hunger and to inspire students to become a part of the fight against hunger.  We accomplished these tasks by incorporating our own experiences with hunger while volunteering abroad, inviting a guest speaker who has extensive knowledge on the subject and who is an active participant for the cause, creating a video for our own efforts in fight against hunger, and providing resources to students to learn what they can do to fight against world hunger. During the event, my partner and I discussed our encounters with hunger while volunteering abroad in our respective countries, South Africa and Peru.  The long term effects of hunger include sickness, death and the cycle of poverty that is difficult to break. Our speaker, an active member of Compassion Corps, shared her passion for volunteer work overseas in several countries in Africa.  She also mentioned many things that students could do to get involved, such as volunteering, donating and raising awareness through social media.  After her presentation, my partner and I shared a video of us packaging meals with "Stop Hunger Now", an organization with a mission to end hunger in our lifetime.  This is one of the many organizations that we advertised to the students.  At the end of the program, we handed out flyers with contact information on numerous organizations involved with the fight against hunger.  We hope that we sparked a positive trend within our community to be a part of the solution to end world hunger.