WASHINGTON, PA (July 15, 2011)—There is little doubt that spending time the last two summers on medical missions to the Dominican Republic has meant a great deal to Washington & Jefferson College senior Nick Tyger.
So much so that he is not only doing it again next month, but he has led the effort to create a formal student service organization on campus that he hopes will continue and prosper long after he graduates from W&J in May.
Tyger is president of the newly formed Presidents Without Borders, designed to actively introduce W&J students to global areas that are generally underserved and underrepresented in the field of medicine, while providing opportunities for personal and scholastic growth.
Tyger traveled to the Dominican Republic for the second straight year in 2010, as a recipient of the Magellan Project. While there last year, the clinics where he worked treated more than 2,100 sick or injured men, women and children. He does everything from checking a patient’s vital signs to reviewing medical history to providing medication. He also had the opportunity to actively observe a handful of medical procedures performed in a typical clinical setting.
“This time spent in the Dominican Republic has given me additional excitement to possibly obtain my medical degree. Furthermore, it has provided me a greater understanding of the world in which I live,” he added.
This summer, Tyger is being joined by nine others from W&J, members of Presidents Without Borders, on his third trip to the Dominican Republic. He also will travel to Peru this summer to evaluate the needs there.
Membership in Presidents Without Borders has grown to more than 40 students.
“The need to help the people in the Dominican Republic came about through my first medical relief effort there as part of my first Magellan,” Tyger said. “Last year, we expanded from one clinic to three, but I wanted to do more to incorporate service and combine it with our medical efforts.”
Tyger has collaborated with Solid Rock Missions, a faith-based nonprofit group in Indianapolis that raises money and accepts donations for the underprivileged, particularly in the Dominican Republic, and has helped raise more than $700 for medical supplies he has delivered on his missions. He said his trips have been very “eye-opening” experiences, providing him the opportunity to meet and help people while traveling and learning about the world.
“The people of the Dominican Republic are very happy people,” Tyger said. “They are very gracious. They are very caring. They love that you are there. I never traveled much outside the United States but it has been a great time and I have met a lot of great people.”
A graduate of Greensburg (Pa.) Central Catholic, Tyger plans on a career in a medical field following graduation from W&J. He hopes Presidents Without Borders continues strong and he would like to remain a positive influence on the club after he leaves the College, possibly as an off-campus advisor.
“And I will continue my effort abroad as I move forward in my medical profession,” he said.