Building beyond boundaries

Rachel Yonamine story banner picture.

When Rachel Yonamine (B.S. Civil Engineering ’19) arrived on campus, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to major in, but her desire to do service work in a developing country led her to join Engineers Without Borders. She worked on a project in Nicaragua for four years, traveling to and spending time in the community of Los Potrerillo, where students designed and implemented projects to provide better access to water. Her work with EWB convinced Yonamine that civil engineering was the right major for her — and provided some important life lessons.

“Engineers Without Borders has taught me to push my boundaries,” Yonamine said. “It has given me friendships, both here and all across the world. It has taught me the value of working for a cause, being part of something bigger than myself. The work I do, no matter how big or small, can make a difference.”

“The work I do, no matter how big or small, can make a difference.”

And it has. Over the course of the project, Yonamine and the EWB team installed a drilled well, connected piping from the well to a distribution system, and developed a storage system to allow year-round water use. Yonamine, who minored in humanitarian engineering, went on to serve as president of the OSU chapter of EWB in her final year at Oregon State.

“I’m so humbled to be able to lead an organization that helps students grow, builds community, and fosters selfless engineers,” Yonamine said.

And now, she’s one of them.

Sept. 8, 2021