Volunteerism pays off for ‘volunteens’Published 5:51pm Monday, June 17, 2013
Hard work combined with the sacrifice of a few summer vacation days has paid off for 10 Beaufort County college-bound students.
Vidant-Beaufort Hospital announced the award of $4,800 in scholarships to the “volunteens,” junior volunteers who’ve dedicated three summers and at least 34 hours of volunteering per summer at the hospital.
Fifty to 60 kids per summer sign on to the Junior Volunteers program that’s been an institution since the mid-1970s, according to Jan Hamblin, manager of volunteer services at Vidant-Beaufort. Any child can sign up for the program once they have graduated from eighth grade or have turned 14 years old.
The volunteers get a first-hand look at the health care industry and lend their time to the hospital in a variety of ways: running errands, discharging patients, sorting mail and delivering flowers among them.
“It’s a big responsibility — they are working in a professional environment and they have to behave as such,” Hamblin said. “It’s a commitment. They’re expected to be here. It’s like going to a job.”
The hospital, and patients, benefit from the Junior Volunteers program, as well.
“They’re young and vibrant and fun,” Hamblin said. “And it definitely helps because our adult volunteers get to take a break when the juniors are here.”
Recipients of this year’s scholarships are: Britney Alligood, graduate of Northside High School, who plans to study nursing at East Carolina University; Mary Brauer, graduate of Washington High School, who will study computer science at ECU; Mia Cota, graduate of Beaufort County Early College High School, who plans to study biology at ECU; Ryan Cowell, graduate of Washington High School, who will study biology at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Taylor Jackson, graduate of BCECHS, who plans to study biomedical engineering at ECU; Thomas Hall, graduate of WHS, who will study civil engineering at North Carolina State University; Sara Hudson, Southside High School graduate, who plans to attend Beaufort County Community College; Christopher LoGelfo, Pungo Christian Academy graduate, who will study business and marketing at BCCC; Megan McLawhorn, graduate of WHS, who plans to study special education at University of North Carolina-Greensboro; and Adam Simmons, graduate of NHS, who will attend BCCC.
Both Hudson and McLawhorn more than satisfied the requirement of three years, with four summers of volunteer work at the hospital behind them.