Skip to main content
Science › Biomedical Physiology + Kinesiology
SFU Co-op Alumni

Danielle Jeong
The Haitians taught me to always be thankful, and although these were lessons that I already knew in my head, I learned them by heart on this trip.

This article was previously published in SFU News on June 10, 2014.

An SFU co-op placement at a missionary medical clinic in Haiti certainly reinforced SFU’s motto “engaging the world”, says Danielle Jeong, who graduates this month with a B.Sc. (honours) in biomedical physiology.

The experience strengthened her desire to become an international medical missionary, a goal that has motivated her to maintain a straight A-plus grade-point-average of 4.33 during her upper division courses.

Those perfect grades have earned her a Governor General’s Silver Medal and, she hopes, entrance to medical school or further graduate studies.

Jeong turned down scholarships from other universities to pursue her undergraduate degree at SFU because of the more intimate learning environment and greater interaction with faculty.

But it was the co-op education program, in which she completed three co-op work terms in SFU labs and then the term in Haiti, that overcame her shyness and changed her life.

During the SFU lab co-op terms she received mentorship and guidance from graduate students and professors that, she says, led to her undergraduate success.

And the trip to Haiti, she says, “gave me the opportunity to challenge myself in ways I did not think were possible, to discover who I am, and most of all, to find a purpose for my studies.”

Last month she received an honourable mention in the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education’s 2013 Co-op Student of the Year competition for her co-op and academic achievements.

In Haiti, Jeong spent weekdays shadowing the clinic doctor and helping out with simple tasks such as preparing bandages. She spent weekends travelling with a mobile clinic to remote villages.

“Each day I watched doctors and nurses work tirelessly in life and death situations,” she says.

And while she was “inspired beyond words”, she was also emotionally drained at the end of each day to realize there was so little to be done for so many who were dying.

Throughout, she was overwhelmed by the Haitians’ grace in the face of extreme poverty, malnutrition, incurable disease and death.

“Their happiness did not seem to come from wealth,” says Jeong. “And happiness did not seem to be suppressed by poverty. Rather, it came from one's decision to be happy no matter what the circumstances are.

“The Haitians taught me to always be thankful, and although these were lessons that I already knew in my head, I learned them by heart on this trip.”

Beyond the Blog

SFU Co-op Alumni
visibility  112
Feb 22, 2016

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Seeking, Work Term Extension

author, courtney, smiling
A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

picture of glichelle pondering a though
Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

person with their head in a book
Responsibility and Success

One of the most memorable parts of my time in co-op was the collection of accidents, errors, mistakes, and mix-ups that happened in the course of working in the laboratory.

 

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

Hydrogen In Motion facility
Touch the Future of Hydrogen Storage

The future of energy belongs to hydrogen but you can be part of the future as well. Weilin discusses their experience as a Co-op student with Hydrogen In Motion Inc. at Powertech Labs Inc, where they were a part of the next generation power source and learned engineering knowledge throughout the whole process. 

Three images combined in a collage. Top image shows a blackberry with its screen illuminated and propped up against a book titled "Blackberry Customer Success". Bottom left image shows a Blackberry propped up with its screen displaying in-built apps. The device is flanked on both sides with black cards that say "Blackberry Privilege Project". Bottom right image shows a pair of hands holding and using the blackberry. In the left corner of this image there is a white board that says "Hi I am Nathan".
Life in Ontario: My Co-op at BlackBerry

Meet Nathan: a Business Co-op student who completed a 12-month work term with Blackberry in Toronto. In this blog, Nathan discusses how valuable co-op is for their personal and professional development and why you should consider completing an out-of-town co-op!

Sam
Government Jobs: Boring or Overly Bureaucratic? Think Again!

Riding hovercrafts while at work, meeting renowned scientists, being the resident expert for introducing new software. These are all experiences Sam encountered while at his government job with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Read on to learn how his co-op job with the government was neither boring nor overly bureaucratic.