Her name may not be on the tip of your tongue, but earlier this month, she joined the ranks of Gandhi, John F. Kennedy Jr., Queen Elizabeth II and dozens more.
Katie Meyler, a graduate of North Central University whose involvement in youth group and mission trips in high school led to a deeper understanding of poverty around the world, was named as Time's Person of the Year for her caregiver role in fighting Ebola. She works in Liberia, combating the disease in the slum of West Point. Her life demonstrates putting others first, as she fights on the front lines of this devastating disease.
Her time in Liberia, though, isn't her first brush with immersing herself in poverty.
"There were a lot of drugs and abuse and chaos in my family when I was growing up. ... Then in high school, my youth group did a service project in Haiti. When I got there, I met a little girl who didn't have running water, deep in a village. I realized, oh my God, I'm not poor and I never was. It just really changed me," Meyler told One Thing New of how she came to work in Liberia. "They say that no one ever chooses Liberia—Liberia chooses you. The reason people say that is that it's just so intense. "
Before Ebola ran so rampantly, Meyler ran a school for the girls in the slum, More Than Me, which has now been turned into an outreach center.
According to its website, "As long as there is Ebola in Liberia, our girls are at risk. More Than Me is fighting with everything we are made of to end this epidemic that terrorizes our children and the communities in which they live. We are doing this by understanding the pulse of the local people, remaining flexible to respond rapidly to urgent needs, and supporting efforts that have the highest return."
Meyler refuses to let the disease distract from her work. Now that Ebola has been staunched in West Point, Meyler's teams have been stationed in other areas around Monrovia, according to NBC.
"The past few months have been filled with some of the most intense moments of my life, but they've also been some of the proudest. I'm honored to be listed next to these truly inspiring people and want to take this time to recognize everyone, on this list or not, who has helped fight Ebola on the front lines," Meyler said on the More Than Me blog.
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