Desmond Atem, a sophomore transfer student at IU South Bend, is a passionate advocate and leader on campus and in our community. He has served as a volunteer educator at AIDS Ministries and has been active in the campus and regional Nurse's Association. He was recently elected to serve as a Community Health and Emergency Preparedness Director for the Indiana Association of Nursing Students. In addition, he tutors students in anatomy and physiology, serves as a student ambassador to the Titan Success Center for new students, serves as a Senator in the Student Government Association, and is active in the Honors Students Association.
Desmond is a truly model student - both within and outside the classroom. He displays the highest integrity and ethical standards, is always willing to give a helping hand to those in need, is self-directed, hardworking, and shows great leadership potential. He is the kind of student and human being one rarely meets - compassionate, ethical, kind. He is a tremendous role model to others in the community for his commitment to genuine service and engagement to make our community a place where all can lead happy, productive, and healthy lives.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others" (Gandhi). This quote has always resonated with me, and I have adopted it as the model of my life. Civic engagement is part of who I am, and I desire to serve others through quality and compassionate caregiving. During my childhood in Africa, I saw much suffering and realized that a critical need existed for healthcare workers in my community. Later, the loss of my father as a result of inadequate access to prevention and treatment options was a further stark reminder of this need. Today, I realize that the need exists not only in Africa but also here in Indiana. I want to do my part to fill this need and make a difference in the lives of others. In pursuit of this goal, I have volunteered with organizations, such as AIDS Ministries, which provides care and support services to people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. While this and other similar experiences have provided leadership opportunities helping me hone my leadership skills, I hope to further refine them through this fellowship so one day I can do the real work of serving medically underserved communities.