Presidents Without Borders Provides Rewarding Trip for W&J Students

Created: April 18, 2017
Last Updated: January 15, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (April 18, 2017) – Extending their learning outside the classroom, Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) students recently traveled to San Jose, Costa Rica with Presidents Without Borders, providing real-world medical care and services to underserved neighborhoods.

Nine W&J students travelled for a week in August 2016 with three U.S. physicians and provided general care to people of all ages in Costa Rica. Greg Guzik ’17, the W&J senior who coordinated the trip, explained their purpose.

“We worked with an organization known as Maximo Nivel that planned the locations that we travelled to,” he said. “We saw patients in various nursing homes, day cares, and even an orphanage, observing and assisting the physicians during their exams.”

Presidents Without Borders, founded in 2011, is a student-run club at W&J that has the sole purpose of introducing students to the field of medicine. Every year, members go on a mission trip to a nation in need, supporting local clinics and medical professionals. Previous trips have gone to Nicaragua, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

Guzik said that during these trips, examinations are provided to people who normally would not have access to that kind of medical care. He believed that to be the most rewarding part of the trip to Costa Rica.

“Seeing the excitement of both the children and elderly when our team arrived to each new location was truly a humbling experience. I have acquired a greater appreciation for the basic necessities available to most U.S. citizens,” he said.

This was not the first such trip that Guzik has taken. He has been on four mission trips, three with Presidents Without Borders and one in March 2015 with two other students from W&J, and they have impacted his future goals.

“After attending these medical mission trips, I have gained a new interest in pursuing a career in either primary care or internal medicine so that I can continue participating in this type of global medicine,” he said. “I wouldn’t have found this passion without Presidents Without Borders.”

The club is tentatively planning their next trip for this coming summer. They plan on heading to Lima, Peru at the beginning of August, where they will once again be working with Maximo Nivel.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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