David Gloyd smiles at the top of the Caño Sangre hike in Vaupés, Colombia. (Contributed photo)

David Gloyd smiles at the top of the Caño Sangre hike in Vaupés, Colombia. (Contributed photo)

MPHS alum takes personal look at public health in Colombia

Marysville Pilchuck High School graduate David Gloyd spent his summer as an intern for Sinergias, a nonprofit organization in Colombia dedicated to serving communities historically affected by conflict and poverty.

The 2015 alum, now in his senior year at the University of Portland, is a biology major and focused on issues of public health during his time in Colombia.

“I think the thing that stands out most to me about Colombia is the people,” Gloyd said. That included the people who opened their homes and communities to him. “Without all that, it would’ve just been a vacation trip to try and put on my resume. … I was able to immerse myself in the communities and cultures, and grow in the direction that I wanted to.”

After graduation, Gloyd plans to take a year off to build experience and strengthen his applications for medical school. He aims to become a doctor and earn a master’s in public health.

While at MPHS, Gloyd said his cross country coach and chemistry teacher Jeff Reichel was a mentor and role model. “He helped spark my interest in science, but more than that helped me develop as a person,” Gloyd said. “He helped me learn to think critically about situations, to go out of your way to do things that you enjoy, and helped me through many tough times that high school brings.”

The UP’s student newspaper, The Beacon, recently wrote a feature story about Gloyd. Learn more about his experience at www.upbeacon.com.

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