The UMHS Student Government Association (SGA) partnered with the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network on Saturday, February 10, 2018 for a morning beach cleanup. Students volunteered from both Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and University of Medicine and Health Sciences on Keys Beach.
The UMHS Endeavour spoke to Eboni Peoples, SGA President, about the event and offers various perspectives from SGA members about what the cleanup meant to them as students concerned about the eco system of St. Kitts.
“This was an amazing opportunity to partner with a local nonprofit organization that truly works for improving the environment. The beach cleanup definitely brings awareness about microplastics and the need to recycle on island,” Ms. Peoples said.
“Waking up on a rather windy Saturday morning to clean the beach was a rather pleasant excursion. Being from a landlocked country, I could really appreciate the environmental benefits and the steps our team took to clean keys beach. Keep it up, UMHS,” said Kudzi Chimuka, SGA Treasurer.
Ruth Jacob, SGA Secretary, was also thrilled to help the local community.
“As much as medical school is about learning to help those around us, the SGA beach cleanup was all about taking a few hours for ourselves to do something completely out of the ordinary, but also necessary for the community we live in,” Ms. Jacob said. “SGA’s beach cleanup was that opportunity to step aside from UMHS and bring UMHS to St. Kitts. As much as it offers us the environment to study, learn and relax, we give back and we get to do it with our fellow peers. It was a Saturday morning well spent.”
Other SGA Class Representatives had similar sentiments about the event.
“I’m happy I was able to be a little part of helping keep our island home clean,” said Amanda Coburn. “With each person making a small difference , collectively we can make huge changes to our community and environment.”
“Getting the opportunity to do the beach cleanup was a great experience,” said Tevin Brown, SGA Class Representative. It was really inspiring to see so many people working together to make a difference. It is our hope that the beach cleanups will help decrease litter and bring awareness to pollution.”
“Although it wasn’t my first beach clean up, as I am from Puerto Rico and we have a lot of those, this one was the most gratifying,” said Pedro Rivera Gonzalez, SGA Class Representative. “St. Kitts and its people opened its doors and became my new home last semester. I immediately felt welcomed and what better way to repay that feeling than with a Clean Up of a beautiful beach. Thank you, St. Kitts, for making me feel at home.”
“As a medical student in the Caribbean, and as a citizen of the Caribbean myself, I’m pleased that our school, UMHS, is involved in the care and cleanup of local habitats,” said Narinder Mehta. “St. Kitts contains incredible beaches, most at an accessible distance to all of us students. Therefore, I’m thankful that our SGA attended this event, and that enough people showed up to make a difference. At the end of the day, the beach looked remarkably cleaner than it did going in. Hopefully, we will continue participating, and giving back, to the St. Kitts and Nevis community.”
Built in the tradition of the best U.S. universities, the University of Medicine and Health Sciences focuses on individualized student attention, small class sizes and recruiting high-quality faculty. For these reasons, UMHS is quickly becoming the school of choice among Caribbean medical schools.