"Misk Fellowship community has shown their endless support from the moment I applied to volunteer in Rwanda, giving me the confidence to go towards fulfilling my dream, knowing that there is an entire army supporting me every step of the way."

Some of the small elements aren’t simply coincidental, but rather they are your destiny and the beginning of a journey.

It was a cold morning in Pittsburgh, and Khulood, at the time only 19 years old, was beginning her undergraduate studies. She was heading to a nearby coffee shop, looking for a delicious cup of coffee, when her life changed.

“If you give, you’re going to get more in returns.”

This motto on a paper cup of coffee touched Khulood’s soul and opened in her mind a world of queries, how can she give with all her energy? And how could she start with herself to achieve the change that she hopes to see in the world? Then she realized later that it is the positive change in the lives of those around her, even in a small amount. The positive change will grow with time, reaching around and transcending wide impact into wider loops. From that day, volunteering has become Khulood’s way of life.

Khulood joined the King Abdullah Scholarship Program in 2010 to study for a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at Robert Morris University. Then she joined Misk Fellowship at the end of 2018 while studying for two Master’s at Carnegie Mellon University in the fields of Biomedical Engineering and Engineering & Technology Innovation Management.

From the beginning, Khulood felt she belonged to Misk Fellowship’s creative community, which enabled her to define her interests and better identify her desires and tendencies. Through various programs, she was able to develop skills and abilities with fellows and mentors, whose stories and experiences inspired her to follow her passion and contribute to the change, locally and  globally.

In 2019, she began her volunteering journey, as Khulood likes to call it. She was enrolled in a summer training program which was one of the requirements for her master’s degree, so she joined Engineering World Health – a non-profit foundation to volunteer in Rwanda.

The idea of ​​traveling to Rwanda was nerve racking in many aspects to Khulood. A new country, a different culture, and language, all aspects of life that were far from what she was familiar with, but Khulood’s passion was greater than her fears. After she introduced the idea to the Misk Fellowship community, she received  an enormous amount of support and belief in her ability to achieve success in that journey.

Misk’s coaches carefully listened and answered all her questions, and the fellows shared their experiences in the field of volunteering, which provided her with the confidence to take the initiative. All of those fears faded away, and Khulood felt that she was confidently heading towards her goals, with an entire army supporting her at every step of the way.

Khulood spent two months of her summer in Rwanda facing challenges beyond her imagination: such as the scarcity of water, the lack of internet in hospitals, and the lack of the lowest standards of privacy, safety, diagnostic and treatment techniques in some health facilities; for example, the use of Excel to keep patient data was an advanced option in Rwanda!

Despite all these challenges, she never gave up. Rather, she moved from one health facility to another, exerting all her efforts, and using her knowledge, capabilities, and expertise to help technicians and engineers. She helped them benefit from the available medical devices as best as possible, and repair damaged ones, and trained nurses and physicians in medical devices use to ensured patients’ safety.

Volunteering in Rwanda was a journey through which Khulood sensed the blessings that surrounded her without realizing their value. An experience that completely changed her perspective. She returned to finish her studies in America, leaving behind a heart attached to every single part of that experience. That journey transformed Khulood’s career path and her future ambition completely, to turn towards volunteering activities, which target the use of technology and medical devices to serve unfortunate and limited resources countries.

Misk Fellowship helped Khulood to determine her path in life and instilled her determination to make use of her time and effort to harness energy, science, and experience to create a better future for herself, her community, her country, and the whole world. Misk Fellowship program supported Khulood to strengthen her desire to lead positive change locally and globally and to take steady and confident steps to achieve her dreams one by one.

 

Read more about Khulood’s success story here:

https://www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2020/december/khulood-al-ali.html

Success Story Media