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Sydney Hirt is a student in the physician assistant program at the University of Evansville. She earned her bachelor's degree in public health from UE in 2022. She also obtained a minor in social and human services and a certificate in gerontology.

Originally from Jasper, Sydney now lives in Santa Claus, Indiana, with her husband and their dog.

She first learned about AHEC as a student in the UE PA program. "I knew that I wanted to work in my hometown as a PA after graduation, and becoming an AHEC Scholar would be a way for me to use my healthcare career and give back to my community," she says.

She plans to graduate in 2025.

Q & A with Sydney

Describe your experience with AHEC Scholars.

I have had great experiences as an AHEC scholar so far. I have been introduced to so many programs in the Evansville area for those in need of healthcare and social support. I have been impacted by those leading these programs, but also by the participants and community members that use these services. Hearing their stories, challenges and triumphs, as well as the progress they have been making with the help of these programs, has been both educational and rewarding.

Why should students apply for the AHEC Scholars program?

Students should apply for the AHEC Scholar program because it allows you to bring so many aspects of healthcare together. You get to use your healthcare knowledge and experience while learning about community resources that will benefit your future patients. You also get to give back to your community and demonstrate compassion and empathy. I have really enjoyed the program so far, and I look forward to attending future experiences and broadening my horizon.

What led you to a career in healthcare?

I was drawn to a career in healthcare in high school after following a physician assistant in my hometown. I loved seeing her interact with and educate her patients, while providing compassionate care.

Anything else you want to add?

I have been on 3 mission trips to Nacaome, Honduras! On these mission trips, we helped build school buildings, led educational activities with children and provided shoes and clothes to those in the village. One year, we donated toothbrushes and toothpaste and taught children how to brush their teeth (in Spanish). Another year, we measured each child’s height and weight and tracked their growth the following year.