Sabina Carlson, 18, of West Windsor will spend her spring break in the Dominican Republic working to provide medical relief to refugees from Haiti and local Dominican communities. A graduate of High School North, Class of 2006, she is a student at Tufts University.##M:[more]##

Carlson, a member of the Tufts Timmy Foundation Club, will travel with a team of health professionals, and perform triage, pharmacy duties, translation services, and public health education in clinics serving Dominicans and Haitian refugees. Last year the group treated more than 500 patients for ailments ranging from skin irritations and respiratory infections to parasites and hypertension. Carlson is teaching herself basic Haitian Creole so as to better assist the refugee communities there.

The local health organization Carlson is working with depends on donations to maintain its service to needy individuals and families. The items the travel team needs include over-the-counter pain relievers, heartburn treatments, and cold and cough medicines; vitamins, first-aid supplies, and personal hygiene items. They also need tin camping pots, reading glasses, stickers, markers, coloring books, jump ropes, and balls. Donations may be brought or mailed to 8 Wilson Way South, West Windsor 08550, or call 609-933-5945 to arrange a pick-up. Financial contributions may be mailed to the Timmy Foundation, 700 Huron Avenue 1D, Cambridge, MA 02138.

The Carlson family has lived in West Windsor for more than 15 years. “I’ve attended WW-P public schools since the first grade and count myself incredibly lucky for it,” she says.

Her father, Ken Carlson, is a scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb, and founder and president of the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance. He is also second vice president of FOWWOS and works to preserve land and build trails in the area. Her mother, Barbara Lepidus Carlson, is a statistician at Mathematica Policy Research. Her brother, Adam Carlson, 15, is a sophomore at High School North.

“Both of my parents were always big supporters of my volunteer work and advocacy,” Sabina says. “My dad used to go out of his way to drive my cookies to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen once a month, and he and my mother used to take me to all of my volunteer activities before I could drive.”

A Darfur activist since she was in the eighth grade, she has been a keynote speaker at protests, universities, high schools, synagogues, and Amnesty International training conferences, as well as an online spokesperson for Amnesty International. She was also involved in High School North’s Amnesty International and Gay Straight Alliance throughout her four high school years. She was a Peer Leader for three years, knitted hats for chemotherapy patients, and used to bake cookies for the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen once a month.

Carlson will continue to pursue both health and human rights as an intended double major in community health and peace and justice studies at Tufts University. She intends to commit her life to serving refugees across the world.

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