We need more loving nurses in this world. From crying babies afraid of their first shot to an older woman with no family to visit her, the compassion of a nurse can make a huge difference is a person’s life. Vania Quach is one of those people; she is currently studying to be a nurse at UCLA and she also volunteers with an organization called FISH, which she will tell you about. I am so excited to introduce her as our Sunny Star for the week–she is such a ray of sunshine wherever she goes!
1. You volunteer with an organization called FISH. Can you tell us about the program and how the experience has added to your happiness?
FISH is a non profit organization 501(c)(3) that goes to Mexico into a rural community where we set up a makeshift clinic. We provide medical treatment like vitals, vitamins, taking blood glucose, and educating patients on health. We go down every other week and sometimes our projects vary and we will help other organizations like a church build a wall or some other community projects. At UCLA, we have social events and fundraise and try to raise awareness just like all the other clubs on campus. FISH has added to my happiness because the people of Maclovio are genuinely appreciative of the medical treatment I am able to provide. They make me feel like I am really making a difference in their lives and I couldn’t ask for more!
2. What has been your happiest memory with FISH thus far?
QUESADILLA! I had an awesome time getting BOMB, authentic Mexican food – grease and all (even though that is not the best for anyone!) Bonding over food with other FISH members and talking to the local boy who served us our meal just made the experience more real. I enjoyed being immersed into their culture for that one moment.
3. What has been the most challenging aspect and how have you been able to overcome this?
The most challenging aspect is the fact that Mexico’s government is so bipolar in the sense that there are people that live so lavishly in a community where their fellow citizens are homeless and don’t have simple things such as water, plumbing, or electricity. The only way I have dealt with this is through the realization that you need to have trust and faith in the people who have the power for international social change. Until then, all I can do with my spanglish is advise clients to live as healthy and happy as possible despite their living situation.
4. You are studying to be a nurse. What inspired you to pursue this career?
1. My nurse practitioner growing up! I thought she was a doctor the whole time!! She remembered little facts about me that most people would forget and just genuinely cared about my total well being – heart, mind, body, soul.
2. Mean healthcare providers. I got a vaccine from someone who wasn’t cheerful even when I tried to make conversation with her and she just ignored me!
3. My mom – she taught me that it shouldn’t matter how much money you make in life, just as long as you are helping others and being a good person. Thus, nursing was PERFECTION (at least in my opinion)!
4. Strangers! I just feel that no matter who you are or what wrong things in life you may have done, you deserve respect and kindness. Everyone is human and may I add that the human body is REALLY COOL.
5. You are one of the happiest people I know! What is your secret to your sunny demeanor?
Aw thanks Lauren! Honestly, I feel like it’s mental strength. If you set your mind to it, you can achieve it. You just need to realize that life isn’t perfect and everyone goes through ups and downs. It’s how you deal with it that makes you a “sunny” person. Also, i LOVE LAUGHING and not being so serious all the time. It truly is the best medicine