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Two years out and a world away: looking toward a future as a healer in the developing world

Delia French ‘06

Like many English majors, Delia didn’t get the memo about taking a year off after graduation. Instead she’s spent the last two years “volunteering as an English as a Second Language tutor for Sudanese refugees living in the Burlington, VT area, working at a summer camp for disabled youth, as a lab assistant researching the potentially carcinogenic effects of talc, and as a volunteer in the Fletcher Allen hospital Emergency Department” before more recently working as a Health Sciences Fellow at a secondary school in Lainya County, South Sudan, after being granted a fellowship by the New Sudan Education Initiative (NESEI, www.nesei.org), an NGO operating out of Burlington, VT.

Although she discovered the joys of teaching while working as an instructional assistant at Milton High School, in the special education department and the intensive needs department while she was simultaneously enrolled in the University of Vermont’s Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program (which she completed with honors this past May), Delia sees her future after med school in “a demanding yet fulfilling career as a pediatrician practicing medicine in the developing world.” Her first steps toward that future will begin at the University of Vermont School of Medicine in Fall 2009.