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Nursing student finds calling in global service

Frederick News Post
November 17, 2015

Seeing how surgery and good nutrition can change the lives of people without access to medical care helped Vanessa Perez of Frederick carve her career path.

For the past two summers, she served with Mission to Heal, a nonprofit agency that cares for underserved people around the world while training local practitioners. A sophomore at Stevenson University in Baltimore County, Perez went to Liberia the summer before her freshman year, and this past summer, she was in Mongolia.

She has reworked her youthful career plans, which involved veterinary medicine, and is in Stevenson’s nursing program. She plans to become a nurse practitioner.

Perez’s medical leanings started years ago: Instead of planning a big 16th birthday party, Perez asked for a trip to her parents’ native home of Colombia to get a glimpse of exotic animals.

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