The following is from the July 8, 2008, edition of The Frisco Enterprise.

SMU awards 2 Frisco students funds to help others

By Ann Marie Shambaugh
Staff Writer

While most college students are spending their summer break making cash, vacationing, or taking summer classes, two Southern Methodist University students from Frisco are using their break to help others.

Nick Elledge and June Yi are recipients of the Maguire and Irby Family Public Service Internship, and have received funding to devote their time to public service. Over the past 12 years, the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility has awarded summer intern stipends to more than 90 students serving agencies in 12 states and nine foreign countries.

Elledge spent four weeks at the Rancho 3M Christian Orphanage in Guadalupe, Mexico. He spent his days working construction projects, shoveling petrified feces out of a sheep pen, beating out hundreds of mattresses, digging a ditch for a pipe, and picking up materials in the United States. He will return to the U.S. on July 18 after spending time in Central Mexico studying Spanish and volunteering to feed impoverished families.

“The simple life of working hard was more relaxing than any vacation could have been after a long year of school,” he said. “Next year I’d like to go back again for a week just to visit all the kids.”

Last year Elledge was introduced to the orphanage through a church trip. He said he was the only person on the trip who did not plan to revisit it. As a political science and economics major, he wanted to study and try and fix the corruption and poverty in Mexico, but he realized that living amongst the problems would help better solve them. . .

Graduate student June Yi is spending her summer providing translation and transportation for Korean-American senior citizens through Korean Central United Methodist Church in Irving. She has been attending the church since 2001, but did not realize the great need until recently.

“There’s older folks (in the church) that cannot learn to speak English, and since the younger generation is so busy establishing their life here and taking care of young ones, they don’t think about the sick and their need,” she said.

She learned of a relative of a friend who did not seek medical treatment until she returned to Korea, because she could not communicate well in the U.S. Doctors told her she should have sought treatment sooner. Yi is hoping to avoid that situation happening again.

The pastor gave Yi a list of senior citizens in the church who may need help getting to doctor’s appointments and communicating about their problems when they arrived. Yi called each person on the list, and they call her whenever they have an appointment.

Her outreach was put to the test in early July when one of her patients called her, out-of-breath. She dialed 9-1-1 to alert paramedics to his location, and drove to the scene to help with translation, because they could not understand if he was having a heart attack or an asthma attack. She was able to provide them with vital information so he could receive the correct treatment. . .

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