Rachel Cunningham was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She has a degree in biomedical science with a minor in Spanish from Texas A&M University. Gig’ Em Aggies! 

“Ever since I was little, I always wanted to become a Doctor. Throughout high school and college, I started emerging myself in the world of healthcare, something I was passionate about when I discovered the great inequalities that the healthcare system has. I decided to take a public health class as an elective to learn more about this divide when we talked about global health one day. It immediately caught my attention, and I went home and started researching global health programs and found Hands on Perú. HOP seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine my three passions in life, traveling, healthcare, and public health, so I decided to volunteer. I went to Perú during the spring of 2020, and my path in life has changed ever since.”

“While in Perú, I had first-hand experience in observing, protecting, and improving an impoverished area through healthcare. I had the opportunity to work at a community level, promoting healthy living and care while also improving access to healthcare in general. It was the first time that I felt myself providing the greatest benefit to a community with many people in need of better access, education, protection, and improvement in health. Because of this, my career path has changed. I still want to become a doctor, but I want to take a more global/public health approach to my MD. So I deferred going to medical school to get more experience in this type of field and decided to get my masters in public health before entering medical school.”

“For the longest time, I felt so lost in my pre-med programs. Everyone would always ask me what type of doctor I wanted to be, and I never knew. Thanks to Hands on Perú, I found my calling. I cherish all HOP has given me and hope to help many others find their passion in public/global health while also helping the great communities of Perú.”