Athena Nguyen '18, student assistant and peer advisor in the Political Science Department, served as a Jean Donovan Fellow in Cusco, Peru during Summer 2016.
For five weeks, Athena worked with the Missionaries of Charity at an orphanage and recovery center. Altogether, there are about 25 children from ages 2 to 18 years old and around 80 adults and elderly people with disabilities. They suffer from a range of illnesses including Down syndrome, hydrocephalus, autism, brain paralysis, and other physical and cognitive disabilities. Some activities that Athena participated in while working with the children consisted of feeding them, changing their diapers, assisting in physical therapy, and giving them much needed attention. Athena used the best of all her many abilities to effectively make a positive impact at Instituto Asistencial Madre Teresa de Calcuta. She is remembered there for her hard work and coming in to do extra hours. When not at work, Athena explored the city, traveled to Machu Picchu, and hiked the Vinicunca Mountains (also known as Rainbow Mountain).
For more information on the Jean Donovan Scholars, visit the Ignatian Center's immersion website.