At Carleton, we believe experiences outside the classroom are vital to a student’s development and growth. We believe these experiences instill in students a sense of purpose and of global responsibility, both of which continue to shape their lives long after they graduate.

Over the next six weeks, we’re featuring stories from students and recent grads on the experiences they had at Carleton that forever changed their futures, and the moments they realized that they, along with all of us here at Carleton, are Here for Good.

Changing Lives in Honduras

Ryan Maxwell
4th-Year Biology Student Specializing in Ecology, Evolution and Animal Behaviour

As a fourth-year biology student, I was so excited when I was presented an opportunity to travel to Honduras with the Carleton University Global Medical and Dental Brigade chapter to deliver healthcare services to more 1,200 patients. I knew I would glean valuable experience and skills from this hands-on interaction unlike anything I could in the classroom.

What I didn’t count on, however, was how much more it would influence my life, my outlook and my future.

As Honduras is the second-poorest country in Central America – and one of the poorest countries overall in the Western Hemisphere – access to good healthcare is hard to come by. Nearly two-thirds of Hondurans live in poverty, and basic human needs like clean water, sanitation and health centres are in short supply. Because of the situation, the country relies on the assistance of volunteer community health workers, both those abroad and locally trained.

Starting out, I was excited to work side-by-side with volunteer health workers and truly felt like I was able to make a difference in the local community. One day, though, another participant asked a health worker what keeps them going as volunteers. Right away, the worker replied: “You guys are the ones that keep us going. You come from a far away country, and you help our people. That really motivates us.”

Without a doubt, that moment will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Student experiences abroad like my opportunity in Honduras are not possible without donor support. But it’s easy on the outside to only see these experiences as trips abroad – experiences that only make a difference in a student’s life for a week or two.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

While I went to Honduras to help change the lives of others, my life also changed in the process. I saw firsthand the impact even one person can have to make the world a better place, and I can’t wait to be out in the world doing so myself. The support from generous donors doesn’t go to waste; it’s invested into opportunities that result in students realizing future paths, making lifelong connections, gaining invaluable skills and, for the first time, truly understanding what it means to be a global citizen.

Carleton’s new mantra, Here for Good, means that we students have opportunities to learn how to stand up on behalf of others and do good in the world. Your support doesn’t just affect Carleton or Ottawa; its impact reaches all corners of the world.

Be Here for Good by supporting someone’s story today.

Student experiences at Carleton aren’t just about doing good for one period of time – they are designed to cultivate the desire and capacity to continue doing good well into the future. These important experiences cannot be possible without the support of donors like you.

When you support experiences for Carleton students, you aren’t contributing to a trip or a project: You are investing in the future of Ottawa, Canada and the world, making it possible for the next generation to do more good. Support the future of our world and join us in being Here for Good today.

Have your own Carleton story to share? Tell us by emailing us at Don’t miss next week’s story as we follow Victoria McLean on her adventure to New York City!