Dr. Ben LaBrot ’94 and Sky LaBrot ’99 have been selected as Chaminade College Preparatory’s 2013 recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award. The annual award recognizes Chaminade graduates who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to their families, neighbors, schools, churches and the community, while consistently improving and uplifting the quality of life for those around them.
The brother and sister team was recognized at the Distinguished Alumni Breakfast on February 1, as a part of Catholic Schools Week.
Ben and Sky demonstrate their deep commitment to helping others through their work with Floating Doctors, an all-volunteer, non-profit medical relief team whose mission it is to reduce the present and future burden of disease in the developing world, and to promote improvements in health care delivery worldwide. Floating Doctors was founded by Ben after he witnessed enormous need while on private medical missions in Thailand, Nambia, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Ben earned his medical degree at Ireland’s Royal College of Surgeons. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in marine biology and history, with a minor in geology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Sky joined her older brother and Floating Doctors as director of operations and marketing. She manages the logistics of the onshore clinics – her negotiation and management skill keeps countless details organized, and allows Floating Doctors to function. In addition, Sky’s culinary and nutritional help her teach people in the developing world how to cook healthier meals, using local ingredients.
Their daily work as volunteers is the perfect affirmation of Chaminade’s efforts to educate for service, justice and peace. Sky recalls a moment on an island off of Panama’s North Coast:
We are in a small community of about 400 people who are totally cut off from all social services—electricity, running water, sanitation, and medical care…We are in the midst of a packed clinic that has just started to quiet down…and as I looked around a realization came upon me. Of the 13 volunteers we had with us that day, five of them were Chaminade Alumni. To me- that is Chaminade. That is our community. And is the true essence of the Marianist teachings that we received, to live a spiritual life and to share that faith with others;-to work with the poor; -to educate and nourish the mind, the body, and the soul.
When Ben returns to Southern California, he visits Chaminade, and shares his experiences with current students. Floating Doctors also works with student groups, including Chaminade’s Teens for Emergency Medical Aid (TEMA).