TALLMADGE – When water doesn’t come from a faucet, it can deliver life-threatening diseases. 

Mindy Hoang, 21, the daughter of Katie Le and Anthony Hoang, owners of Sunny Nail Salon, and residents of Tallmadge, visited Tanzania, Africa, to educate the people about clean water.

Mindy went to Tanzania May 8 through May 30; her service project was part of bringing clean water to a village. Her role was to teach the women and children about hand sanitation and why it is important to boil water, she said.

"They get water from holes in the ground or the Pangani River," Mindy said. "The water needed to be boiled."

Diseases that are prominent in the area include cholera, dysentery, pneumonia and malaria, Mindy said.

"I drew pictures for the kids of a bacteria and told them it was living in the water," Mindy said. "Then I drew a cow and bacteria in it. If they touched the water or cow, they should use soap to wash their hands."

Mindy showed them the proper way to wash with soap and water to prevent diseases.

Mindy is going into her senior year working toward a bachelor’s of science degree in public health with the objective of attaining a doctorate in medicine.

"I hope to eventually go on to medical school," Mindy said. "I want to understand the underlining causes of diseases doctors treat and focus more on preventing diseases."

Mindy said treatment and prevention go hand-in-hand and she would like to find new treatments for diseases.

Since her sophomore year in Tallmadge High School, Mindy has known she wanted to be a doctor.

"I was interested in medicine and helping people," Mindy said.

She shadowed a nurse but decided she was more interested in diagnosing and treating the patient.

"I commend nurses and they are amazing but it takes someone really patient and determined to be a nurse and do the constant patient care," she said.

Since last summer Mindy has done research work at the lab at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus.

"My project is working with cancer treating drugs," she said.

Mindy was one of 24 students recently inducted into the exclusive honorary membership of Sphinx honorary society on the campus of The Ohio State University and recognized for academic endeavor as well as exceptional achievement in leadership, service, and individual accomplishments to enhance and promote the best interests of the university.

In addition, the United State Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in Washington, D.C. selected Mindy as a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship supported by the Institute of International Education.

Reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or lfreeman@recordpub.com