Courier Spotlight: Meet Our 2016 Couriers! (Part 1 of 2)

At the heart of Frontier Nursing University is a talented and diverse community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, Couriers and preceptors. Spotlight blogs feature members of our FNU community that are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality health care to underserved and rural populations.


In 1928, Mary Breckinridge, founder of Frontier Nursing University, established the Courier Program, recruiting young people to come work in the Kentucky Mountains and learn about service to humanity. Couriers escorted guests safely through remote terrain, delivered medical supplies to remote outpost clinics, and helped nurse-midwives during home visits and births. Frontier has benefited tremendously from the tireless work of the over 1,500 Couriers who have served. This tradition and legacy continues to this day.


This month and next, we’ll be introducing you to the 2016 Courier Class. Please join us in welcoming our newest Couriers!


Jonathan K. Allotey

Jonathan is from the beautiful coastal country of Ghana in West Africa. He came to the U.S. four years ago to pursue a degree in biochemistry and graduated in May 2015 from the College of Wooster in Ohio.


Jonathan grew up in the capital city of Accra, a major business hub with about 8 million residents. His mother raised him and his younger sister. Like a typical West African family, Jonathan’s grandparents played a significant role in his upbringing. They shared stories and poems with him that emphasized the value of community, relationships and faith.


Jonathan applied to the Courier Program because he wanted an opportunity to contribute to the work of health and social organizations in rural and underserved communities.


“My goal is to work as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a rural community, and the Courier Program offered me that opportunity,” said Jonathan. “I also want to learn firsthand how nursing and primary healthcare is administered in underserved areas with few resources.”


Julian Butler

Julian is from Johns Creek, Georgia, about 30 minutes north of Atlanta. He’s a junior studying biology with a double minor in healthcare studies and chemistry at the University of Richmond in Virginia.


In his free time, Julian enjoys hanging out with friends, volunteering at a hospital, and relaxing and reading. He joined the Courier Program because he wanted to experience medical practices in a rural environment. He’s interested in becoming a family doctor and through research, he has discovered that family doctors have more responsibility for their patients in a rural environment.


“The Courier Program will provide me with an understanding of rural medicine and help me decide whether or not I want to practice medicine in a rural setting long-term,” said Julian. “I cannot wait to meet the other Courier volunteers and work to better the community I serve!”


May Congdon

May is from San Francisco, California, and is finishing her junior year at Williams College in rural Massachusetts. She chose Williams to pursue her dream of seeing snowy winters and completing pre-med requirements.


She succeeded in experiencing a new climate, but decided to put pre-med on hold in order to major in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She’s considering nursing school after graduation, hopefully closer to the West Coast. She loves to sing (she’s in an acappella group at school, the Williams College Accidentals), read, cook, and explore the outdoors through hiking and river rafting.


She chose to participate in the Courier Program because she’s interested in nursing and to learn more about a part of the United States she knows very little about.


“Many of my peers chose to study abroad in other countries, but I think it is also, if not more, important, to learn about our own country and engage in service of communities closer to home,” said May. “It will be an honor to live in the Hyden area this summer, and to meet the other Couriers and observe rural Appalachian healthcare. Thanks so much for having me!”