Ms. Allison credits her parents for her sense of adventure. "My parents definitely instilled a sense of adventure in me. We lived all over Canada, as well as in Nepal for three years before we moved to Newfoundland in 2000. My parents did a lot of travelling before they had kids, some travelling with the four of us and have gone on some pretty amazing adventures in the past few years." Both of her parents have gone to Haiti in the last few years to help out with disaster relief and both are very involved in public and global health.
Ms. Allison first choose India to visit a friend who's living there but then decided to create her own adventure and stay longer while giving some thought to what she'd like to do with her future.
The first organization Ms. Allison is volunteering with is CRAWL (Children Resolution and Women Learning) Society. They have several different programs including non-formal education and teaching computer and self-help skills.
|My parents have taught me that any goal is attainable, at any age and that it doesn't take a superhero to make a difference in someone's life.|
After a month with CRAWL, Ms. Allison is planning on working with the Missionaries of
Charity, an organization originally set up by Mother Theresa. According to Ms. Allison, there's a high demand for volunteers who can do physiotherapy type work with people with severe disabilities in Kolkata.
"I'm not entirely sure why I settled on these two organizations. I've heard great things from both of them, and they're both different experiences. It's entirely possible that I'll discover other organizations that I want to be a part of and travel around the city and country a bit," she added. "I'm looking forward to being surrounded by colour, culture, tasty food and new people. Also, I'm looking forward to that feeling that you get when you feel at home in a strange place. Hopefully I'll get to that feeling!"
Ms. Allison is completing the rest of her kinesiology degree by distance from wherever her volunteering takes her. "I'm very nervous but not at the same time. It's finally happening."
Ms. Allison's father is Dr. David Allison, chief medical officer of health for the Eastern Regional Health Authority as well as a clinical associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine's Division of Community Health and Humanities. Her mother is Dr. Jill Allison, a graduate of Memorial's anthropology graduate school, is the global health coordinator at Memorial.
"My parents have taught me that any goal is attainable, at any age and that it doesn't take a superhero to make a difference in someone's life."