Louisiana Tech junior biology major Lauren Cox hopes to take her final tests in medical school in five years. In 10 years, she hopes to complete her training as a pediatric neurologist.

Lauren CoxBut she’s not waiting to earn an advanced degree before she makes a difference in the world’s health.

A graduate of Camden Fairview High in Arkansas, this pre-med student recently started a Tech chapter of Advocates for World Health (AWHealth), a charity that takes donated medical supplies from local hospitals that would otherwise go unused or be thrown out, and sends them overseas to people in need in other countries.

“Anyone can become involved by approaching any member of AWHealth,” Lauren said. “There are no dues or payments necessary; it is strictly a club for people who want to do good for the world and partake in a charity for world health.”

AWHealth has organizations on college campuses that help bridge the gap between local hospitals and the national headquarters in Florida.

“The college chapters reach out to area hospitals and collect the medical supplies, and then we send it to the national office; they take care of getting the supplies overseas,” Lauren said. “It isn’t always easy to help people so far out of your reach, but doing this little bit of getting medical supplies to people in need is such an amazing opportunity.”

“Community service is something I’ve always been interested in, and it grew into a passion in high school when I became a member of Key Club, an organization for high school members to do service hours,” she said. “I eventually became president my senior year, and I realized how much I wanted to contribute to other people. My interest with world health came with my interest in the medical field. Once I understood how fortunate we are here in the United States, it overwhelmed me how little some countries have access to health care.”