NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University students interested in making a difference in lives across the globe now have that opportunity with the student chapter of the medical outreach program Volunteers Around the World.

Students involved in the program can work with patients and doctors, distribute medications, and teach classes on health hygiene and nutrition in clinics located in Central and South America and Asia.

The student chapter was started by Mary Dang, junior biology major from Sugar Land, after a medical mission trip to Costa Rica.

“It opened my eyes to a world outside of the one I had always known and inspired me to share the same passion I have for health care with as many students as possible,” Dang said. “Not only do I want to travel abroad on these medical outreach trips to help provide the essential health care that is lacking within these developing nations, but I also want to spread awareness throughout my own local community.”

The chapter is planning a trip to Vietnam for the end of 2018 and is involved in local outreach, volunteering at The Brown Family Health Center and Lexington Place Nursing and Rehabilitation, and in other community-service projects around Nacogdoches.

“The VAW is a great chance for students to travel and learn hands-on medical experience,” said Dr. Brian Barngrover, faculty advisor for the chapter and assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “This is a unique opportunity for students regardless of major.”

The program is open to all majors. For more information, email, or visit @vawsfasu on Twitter or Instagram.