(KYTX) - Kimberly Malone and Mara Poland are two East Texas nursing students who are planning a trip to Belize, but not for a vacation. They want to help provide health care to orphans in a country where quality medical care is a luxury.

The two nurses-in-training are already hitting the books for their upcoming semester at UT Tyler Palestine and their trip.

"We have a lot of nursing skills on our hands right now and we have this opportunity so that's what we're going with," said Malone.

With help from the International Service Learning program, Malone are Poland are heading to Belize to help the already struggling health clinics provide care for women and young children.

"We just drive anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes depending on where you are to get to a hospital," explained Malone. "There, you could drive up to two hours and hopefully get to one."

The girls are eager to put what they've learned in their nursing books to real world use while helping others.

But with the price tag for the trip about as much as a semester's tuition, the girls have turned to crowd funding in hopes that their community will support their goal.

"I don't want them to think hey we're donating to these girls to go on vacation to Belize, because, first of all, it is not going to be a vacation," explained Poland. "It's going to be a lot of hard work. I don't know what we're going to see, but I'm expecting it not to be that good."

Malone says even if she doesn't raise all the money, it's not going to stop her from going.

"I'm going to get a loan out. I'm going to go, regardless," said Malone. "I would just like to not get a loan since I'm already way too in debt. I'm in nursing school, so…."

Two small town girls with one big goal.

"We're young," said Malone. "That's all we can do is dream big."

The girls say whatever extra money they raise, they will turn around and donate it to the service learning organization.


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