On Saturday, Aug. 23, 165 Baylor College of Medicine students reached out to the Houston community by dedicating half of their day to service projects as part of the Matthew Carter Service Day.
Students volunteered at sites throughout Houston, including AIDS Foundation Houston, the Houston Food Bank, the Beacon, Hermann Park Conservancy, Houston Humane Society, Center for Hearing and Speech, Bo’s Place, Goodwill, and others.
Service Day coordinators were medical students Cameron Pywell, Angela Chun, Tyler Smith, Shawn Reddy, David Marin and Julia Wang.
The Matthew Carter Service Day started 14 years ago when a talented and well-loved BCM medical student, Matthew Carter, was murdered. To honor his dedication to volunteering and service, his classmates organized an annual event with a guest lecturer and a service day, in which those close to him, including his parents, take part.
The service day is preceded by the Matthew Carter Memorial Lecture. This year’s speaker was Dr. Sean Boutros, an accomplished plastic surgeon, who talked to students about going on mission trips despite his busy and successful private practice. Students described the talk as inspiring but also humbling and realistic.
“Mission trips are certainly not vacations,” Boutros said, citing numerous challenges that he faced while on mission trips and while making career decisions. He also said he “gained much more from the patients than the patients gained from him” and he learned that “We are all the same. We want to know that we are loved and safe, and we fear pain and rejection.”