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Senior’s work touches lives around the world

Whether it is volunteering at a hospital in Ghana or making campus presentations about eating right, Rebecca Fraid is putting the health and wellness of others first.

The 21-year-old senior from Plainview combined her loves of health, medicine and Africa for a 2007 mission to a hospital and orphanage in Hohoe, Ghana, with the group Cross-Cultural Solutions. Fraid spent the summer shadowing nurses, checking patients in, painting a staff lounge and even helping to deliver a baby.

“It was definitely an amazing experience,” said Fraid, who had wanted to visit Africa since she was a child. “The people were so nice. Everyone is very laid-back. I plan on going back to either Ghana or Tanzania.”

Fraid, a double major in biology and Africana studies, has extended that generosity and assistance to her Binghamton classmates and community. As president of the Eating Awareness Student Sub-committee, she not only helps students deal with eating disorders, but coaches others about eating right.

“A lot of (students) come here and they don’t know how to eat,” she said. “Some go the entire day without eating because they are running from class to class. It’s all about balance. They just need to learn the healthier options.”

Sarah Thompson, a lecturer in physical education academics who has worked with Fraid through the Eating Awareness Committee, praised her leadership skills.

“She’s a really great leader,” Thompson said. “She’s passionate about education and realizes the lack of resources for education in health and wellness from high school all the way through. She is willing to go above and beyond to help other people.”

Fraid also works as a personal trainer at FitSpace and has helped organize walks that raised money for AIDS victims and cardiac aid.

One of Fraid’s goals for her senior year is to volunteer at Danielle House in Binghamton, which provides shelter and support for the families of seriously ill patients in the area.

“I like keeping busy,” she said. “That’s just who I am. I always want to push for more and achieve so much.”

Fraid is considering medical school, but also may spend a year volunteering at a medical facility to help determine exactly what she wants to pursue.

“I love volunteering,” she said. “I’ve done in middle school and high school and wanted to do it in college and make a difference in at least one person’s life. You can’t change everyone, but if you can help one person, that’s more than enough.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08