‘Life changing’: Local PVC LVN program raising funds for Peru service trip

“(The students) are really going to be bringing back their experiences that they have from this trip, and they’ll be working here in the community. Which I think is a great investment for people that are here in this community and would like to see it grow. These are experiences that I think Blytheonians can feel gives back,” shared Palo Verde College (PVC) Nursing Instructor Anjela Bavaro-Ricci.

The 2021 Palo Verde College (PVC) Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) class is currently holding fundraisers toward supporting a service trip to Lima, Peru.

The MEDLife mission trip (Jan. 2-9) seeks to provide an immersive experience in which the volunteer LVN students will provide support and help toward bridging the gap between Peru’s public health and low-income residents.

Through service projects, as well as supporting local clinic stations, the PVC volunteers will experience first-hand the realities and hardships of folks living in Peru’s outskirting settlements.

“To be able to do something, on top of the whole medical (part,) to help the community there – like building a staircase, or providing a water supply I think is just an amazing experience and it will be for the students, especially,” shared PVC Associate Dean of Nursing & Allied Health Dr. Theresa Becker. “For those who have not been out of Blythe – to see that people do live a lot worse off than what we imagine(. I) think it’s just going to make (the students) better people. I think it’s going to make me a better person – it’s life changing.”

The service trip may become part of the PVC nursing department’s future integrated highlights.

One of the biggest hopes also includes potentially bringing a full-fledged RN (Registered Nursing) program at the college.

“As far as we know, we’re on target. We’ve submitted our self-study the Monday of Thanksgiving week. And now, we’re just at the mercy of the (California Board of Registered Nursing). The self-study is a big step. We had the feasibility study, which says there’s a need for a program like this in this area – and they accepted that, and said go forth with the self-study. So, the self-study has been submitted. And that is the complete design of the program – from the curriculum to employee evaluations; student evaluations; handbooks; all of the other stuff. So that was a 500 page document that we submitted to the board,” noted Becker on the possible PVC RN program’s current status.

“So, it takes time to review that. And then they’ll set up a site visit. We do have a director of nursing that I’m working with; she’s been fantastic at making sure that everything is in place. We’ve been working together to get this done. And we’re still on target for enrollment for fall of 2022. I will keep everybody posted and updated on the status as we go forth. Typically, with the self-study there’s not going to be a ‘No; you’re not going to have a program.’ There’s going to be, ‘OK; you need to fix this.’ Or, ‘You need to add this.’ (...) So we’re waiting to get a date as to when we’ll be put on the agenda for the Board of Nursing.”

Over the last month, PVC’s seven LVN students have been hosting fundraisers throughout the community toward helping the team’s service trip costs.

“(The students) are really going to be bringing back their experiences that they have from this trip, and they’ll be working here in the community. Which I think is a great investment for people that are here in this community and would like to see it grow. These are experiences that I think Blytheonians can feel gives back,” noted PVC Nursing Instructor Anjela Bavaro-Ricci, who in her career has participated in previous impactful service trips to parts of Mexico and Ukraine. “We need about $20,000 more; we’ve already raised some. So we need about $20,000 more – we’ve already raised about six or seven thousand, so we’d need about $20,000 more to cover all of our flights. So, all of our housing – we’re staying in a hostel. And it’s not a luxury thing at all, but that pays for our food, pays for the lodging, pays for all of the transportation while we’re on the week-long trip. And now we’re just looking to get all of our flights covered.”

Fundraisers have included a 50/50 raffle, dinner plates, a bake sale, yard sale, and more.

For updates or for inquiries on how to support, visit the PVC LVN social media page at: facebook.com/2021LVNClass

Or, reach out to Bavaro-Ricci at (760) 219-0506; or via email at: Anjela.Ricci@paloverde.edu

Maria Lind

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn about a new culture and use my nursing skills to provide care for those who don’t have access to healthcare. I know this will be a life changing experience for me and for the lives we will get to impact.”

Cassie Gallegos

“I’ve known since a very young age that taking care of others is my passion. This opportunity is life changing; not just for them but for me as well. I cannot wait to embark on this journey and provide care for those who do not have easy access to medical care.”

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