Joseph McKeen
Center for the Common Good

Sandra Martinez
Class of 2013

Posted March 03, 2011

In the beginning, Sandra Martinez '13 didn't seek out service opportunities. "They sort of just happened." As a first year student here at Bowdoin Sandra was a cheerleader and spent her spring break combating poverty through education in Guatemala City with the Alternative Spring Break trip.

Knowing that she wants to become a doctor someday, Sandra took it upon herself to network and find a good fit – something she would love.  That is how, in the summer of 2010, Sandra went to Portoviejo, Ecuador to work at the government-run Andres de Vera Maternity Clinic. Rotating between different departments within the clinic including patient preparation, vaccines, HIV counseling, family planning, ob-gyn consultations, pediatrics, emergency medicine and surgery, she had hands on experience in one of the poorest and neediest regions of the city - regularly hiking up mountains to bring vaccines and equipment for women and children unable to come to the clinic.

Sandra's work last summer has inspired her to seek a career in rural clinical work. While it is the lowest paying medical career, she believes it is by far the most rewarding. Having always wanted to be a surgeon and fortunate enough to assist in numerous surgeries, Sandra realized that she wanted a more wholistic form of work - interacting with patients in their daily lives. Having seen many tragedies over the summer, realizing the power to do something about it was the most rewarding part of her experience.

Last fall Sandra traveled to Milbridge, ME with a Weekend Service Trip to volunteer at Mano en Mano – a trip she will be co-leading this spring term.

Sandra is secretary of the Latin American Student Organization.

"I don't consider myself someone who does a whole lot of Common Good, nor do I sign up for many events through the McKeen Center. However, when something sparks within me to help a cause, it is always because I feel a connection to the organization and/or the people I will serve."

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“For me, serving the common good is as simple as this: Take what you are passionate about and think about how you can use that passion to help others.”