A Crusader brought his love of helping others to his college campus to encourage his fellow Hilltoppers to do the same.
Junior Sam Fugate, SHDHS Class of 2015, co-founded a chapter of Global Brigades at Western Kentucky University. The nonprofit organization provides health and sustainability to those in impoverished environments in Central America and East Africa. He co-founded the chapter with fellow student, Merry Krueger. He said he was inspired to bring a chapter to campus in spring 2016 because of its reliance on student volunteers.
Sam is majoring in pre-med. He is also an admissions ambassador and volunteer through Best Buddies, a volunteer organization for those with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
“Global Brigades provides the funding and assistance to support the doctors and bring these clinics to the rural communities of Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras and Ghana,” Fugate said. “We recognized that both the students here on the Hill, and the individuals in these rural communities could benefit by just bringing this group to campus.”
Since its beginning, Global Brigades has aimed to give its participants a way to give back through unique, intercultural experiences. The organization took members to Nicaragua in August 2016 and to Panama last June. This summer, they will be returning to Nicaragua in July.
The work done on the trips has included tasks like pouring concrete, working in medical clinics and dental offices, helping in pharmacies and teaching the communities about health and wellbeing.
The trips also serve as a bonding experience for WKU students to meet people with similar interests who they didn’t know attended the same university. A WKU Junior and fellow Global Brigades member, Katie Wilmes, said Sam had a profound impact on her experience as a leader in the organization with a great deal of duties on his plate.
Through Global Brigades, Fugate and the members of the organization have been able to provide medical assistance to the global community.