The Beauty of Volunteering: Gabby Avalos
Gabby Avalos volunteers for Humans for Education. She is a dentist who worked at our mobile dental clinic last year, and is currently in charge of a project to build an entire dental clinic. She has been working with Humans for Education for about a year and three months now, and this organization has made quite an impact on her life.
As the cliché goes: everything happens for a reason. Humans for Education entered Gabby’s life when she was at the right place at the right time. Her story began when she was on vacation with another dentist who went to Kenya. Her friend, Mostafa, happened to be engrossed in a conversation about Humans for Education and Daphne. He was discussing the need for a dentist who can go to Kenya, and Gabby happened to walk in the middle of the conversation. That moment was built by destiny. Hearing the conversation, she knew that she was the dentist they needed. As Gabby put it herself, “I thought, ‘This is my dream! I always wanted to do social work in places like Africa.” They then invited her to join the team.
That was it. That small act of fate changed her life. Going into that vacation, she had no idea that it would ignite a spark that was meant to change her life forever. She returned to her home in Mexico, and received an email. She officially became a volunteer for Humans for Education.
Her trip was showered with many unforgettable moments which she would like to cherish forever. The most memorable part of Gabby’s trip happened on their last day in Kenya. The children were waiting at the end of their classes to say goodbye. They sang beautiful songs for the team of dentists, thanking them for the work they’ve done. Gabby and the rest of the team had to finally part from these children who had made such a powerful impact on their own lives.
Being the visual person Gabby is, she had always loved sunsets, but the one she saw on her way walking back to camp is one that will stick with her forever. The sun was glowing as it slowly and patiently descended into the horizon, speaking to her heart on its way down, and bringing closure to her trip. Standing back watching its glow, she knew the symbolic sunset was nature’s way of telling her that her work was appreciated.
Although it was time for her departure, her work simply wouldn’t end in Kenya. The impact of her experience would live on within her, as she would alter both her professional and personal life, and continue to let that small act of fate from walking in the middle of a conversation, shape her destiny. She knew that the powerful emotion that the sunset shone into her heart and soul was not going to conclude with her trip, and that she was going to continue to let her passion and dream of helping people in poverty drive her actions. That feeling of fulfillment would stick with her and inspire her to continue her work for Humans for Education.
Her work has moved her in a very special way. Gabby was impressed by how much they could do in such a little amount of time. As she is used to working alone in Mexico, she said, “it was amazing to have an entire team who are working for the same reasons.” Gabby felt that this experience was so moving and powerful, as her time spent in the dental clinic was “far more than simply fixing teeth.” She had the opportunity to share her personality with them, get involved in their life, and learn about the way they live and who they are as individuals. Whether the children knew it or not, the help she was offering them reflected back at her like a mirror, as the kids have made a strong, positive influence on her life in return, and contributed to a vast amount of personal growth and maturity. The impact of her experience is evident in her own dental office as well. Along with adjusting her time spent at the dental office to do more work for Humans for Education, she constantly finds herself talking to both her patients and colleagues about her time in Kenya.
Gabby Avalos is a lovely volunteer for Humans for Education, and it is an honor for this organization to be the vehicle that helped change her life. Her story reminds us that there is something incredibly special about helping others, and that there’s so much you get out of donating a part of yourself to a cause. Her story also spells out how a small act can turn into a formidable change in your life should you choose to pursue it. Gabby seized her opportunity to follow one of her dreams, and directed passion towards making it a priority in her life. Humans for Education is incredibly proud to have Gabby Avalos as a part of our team.