Stephanie “Dr. Steph” began her journey with Hope Shines in 2009 when she asked the innocent question, “Do they need a doctor?” That was the first time she travelled to Rwanda and that ignited a connection to Rwandese youth that was life changing. After a couple of years serving as a volunteer during her summer breaks from being “Team Doctor” to the University of Colorado athletes, she took on the role of Camp Director/Volunteer Coordinator. She parted from her Physician duties for a few weeks a year and led groups of American and European volunteers around Rwanda as well as implemented a teaching curriculum during the Hope Shines Summer Leadership Camps. It was during these years Dr. Steph took a greater interest in the health and well-being of Rwandese youth by educating annually on various health topics from hygiene and clean water to malaria and HIV. She also started doing annual health checks, tracking the growth and development of the children as well as documenting and educating on their illnesses in hopes to establish and improve healthy living.
Since 2016, Dr. Steph has stepped into a consulting role after the birth of her son. She is still very dedicated to the mission and vision of Hope Shines and hopes to bring her son AND daughter to see and meet her “Rwandese Family” and see her “Home Away from Home.” Stephanie holds a BA degree from Miami University and graduated from Medical School at Ohio University. She completed her Residency in Family Medicine and went on to Fellowship in Sports Medicine at the University of Connecticut. She is currently an Associated Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and a Team Physician for the University of Colorado Buffaloes.