'La Enfermera'

Emily McHugh is a senior in nursing from Noblesville, Ind.

Her dream: An advocate for patient education and prevention, Emily dreams of working at a clinic for the underserved Latino population or opening her own nurse-managed clinic providing prenatal and mother/baby care. “I would love to become a certified translator so I could comfort Spanish-speaking patients in their own language.”

How she’s making it come true: After two medical mission trips to Ecuador as a student, Emily is now returning to coordinate and lead medical brigades sent by the Indianapolis-based Timmy Foundation. She’ll also serve as a community health nurse with mobile medical units traveling to the impoverished and isolated barrios of southern Quito. “When I think of the person I want to be, I know this will bring me one step closer to becoming that person.”

Finding her calling: After spending her freshman year unsure of what she wanted to do, Emily discovered her passion for helping others after the birth of her sister’s baby. “Two weeks later, I changed my major to nursing and never looked back!”

A life-changing experience: Over spring break, her plans to visit Texas detoured into a spontaneous 8-city tour in 10 days. “I could write a novel about that experience,” says Emily, who gained new friends, her first tattoo, and a new appreciation for life.

By Tammy Weaver-Stoike