The teachers at Los Angeles Baptist High School in North Hills remember Sheree Lynch, Class of ’91, as a quiet, reserved student. The woman visiting her alma mater 15 years later was anything but as she spoke to the school’s nearly 1,000 students and faculty about what she’s been doing with her life since graduation. Not much. Just trying to change the world. For openers, she’s Dr. Sheree Lynch now, and all that quiet reserve has been replaced by passion. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event“You could hear a pin drop as she spoke,” said school activities director Cindy Noblitt. “The kids were mesmerized. We all were.” Since she was 5 years old, she always wanted to be a physician and missionary, and now, at 33, she is, Lynch told the kids. She didn’t hang her medical shingle in this country after she finished her residency in family practice at Kaiser Medical Center Hospital in Woodland Hills in 2003. She followed her heart back to a little medical clinic in Santa Maria del Real in eastern Honduras, population 9,000. Only a few years out of high school, Lynch would spend her summers volunteering in the clinic doing clerical work and taking the blood pressure of local pregnant women, who prayed that malnutrition and disease would not take their babies from them. The mortality rate was staggering, she told the students – not much younger than Lynch was when she was volunteering at the Central American clinic. In the United States, 17 babies die for every 100,000 born. In Honduras, the number approaches 400 per 100,000. “What always touched me was how, even though they had so little and lived in so much poverty, these women were always filled with joy and gratitude that someone cared about them,” Lynch said. “I lived with local families who had so much less than what I had, but they were willing to give me everything.” And now, Lynch was giving them everything back. “Just because you are poor doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to good, quality health care,” she told the kids, thanking them for inviting her. Afterward, a few teachers wanted to know if there was anything her old high school could do to help her give the people of Santa Maria del Real better health care in her clinic. She could use a fetal monitoring machine to make sure the unborn babies were doing OK, but the machine costs almost $4,000 – more than her tiny clinic could afford. Lynch thanked them for asking and went home. She was back in the San Fernando Valley from Honduras for only a few weeks to visit her ailing father. She wanted to spend as much time with him as she could. Noblitt and seventh-grade social studies teacher Ed Tooley took it from there. Students and parents at the school had raised $6,000 for tsunami relief and an additional $5,000 for Hurricane Katrina victims. “We raised money for people we don’t know, why can’t we raise money for someone we do, one of our own?” Noblitt asked. No reason. None at all. So that’s what the kids, faculty and parents at L.A. Baptist High School did. Last Tuesday, only days before she leaves to return to her clinic in Honduras on Saturday, Lynch was invited back to her alma mater. As the kids cheered and clapped, the teachers handed Lynch a check for $8,252.11. Enough to also buy a mammogram machine, because just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to good health care. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3749160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!