Because Ancilla College is sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, the values set by the college align with those of the sisters. On the Ancilla College website it states, “Ancilla College embraces the core values of the PHJCs — Openness to the Spirit, Community, Simplicity, and Dignity and Respect for all — and their belief that these four core values ﬂow from joyful service to all, especially with the needy and underserved.” It is expected that those employed by Ancilla keep these values in mind, but when it is seen coming out in the lives of the students, it is truly worth celebrating.
It is because of this that the college would like to recognize nursing student, Aaron Mishler, for acting in such a manner. A week after Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf of Mexico, Mishler went to Huston, TX to help those that had been affected by the storm, staying for a week. Two weeks later, he returned to Huston but was asked a few days later if he would like to go to Puerto Rico to help the victims there.
He had experience with disaster relief in the past, working with the organization Heart to Heart International. According to their mission statement, “Heart to Heart International strengthens communities through improving health access, providing humanitarian development and administering crisis relief worldwide. We engage volunteers, collaborate with partners and deploy resources to achieve this mission.”
Thankfully, the class schedule that Mishler has this semester allowed for him to embark on the journey in order to help the many people in need. “We would go into an area and meet with the mayor and determine if there was a medical need.” The lack of medical staff was due to several factors – perhaps they had left during the evacuation, or maybe there was just a lack of resources allowing the medical staff to attend their duties. Whatever the case, Mishler and other like him, took on the task of providing medical care to the victims.
He is currently employed as a nurse at the St. Joseph County Jail and is working on becoming an RN through the nursing program at Ancilla. “I would like to continue a career in nursing,” he states, “and if possible, do more aide work and possibly look into working in public health.” Though the exact nature of his future may not be known, the powers that be seem to be guiding him in a rewarding and helpful life plan.
The experiences he has had in the past few weeks were not taken for granted. “When you go to a disaster zone,” he said, “it really puts how well you have things in perspective. The ability to come back and drive on clear and paved roads, flushing toilets, running water, electricity – the things we take for granted – seeing the people without those things make you appreciate it even more when you come back. Sometimes people need that in life.”
College provides many life experiences that help a person come into who they truly are, but sometimes those life-changing experiences come from lending a hand and helping those truly in need. Ancilla is proud to have students like Aaron and hope that he continues his work as one who embraces the same values of the college and of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.
Thank you Aaron!