Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from across Surry County dedicated their summer break to volunteering at Northern Regional Hospital. Forty-one Junior Volunteers filled the Hospital hallways throughout June, July, and August.
More than 50 applications were received this year for the annual program. Unfortunately, the hospital cannot accommodate an unlimited number of students in the program so Tina Beasley, Manager of Volunteer Services, was tasked with combing through the applications, essays, recommendation letters, and interviews to narrow the pool.
“Beginning in January, we send out applications to all area high schools seeking Junior Volunteers,” said Beasley. “After applications are received, we begin working with all the Hospital departments to determine the opportunities available. We want our Junior Volunteers to have a truly worthwhile experience. This program is such a wonderful opportunity for our local high school students. Not only do the Junior Volunteers help our staff by assisting with many tasks during their time here, but we also help the Junior Volunteers by exposing them to different careers within our organization. There are so many roles, both clinical and non-clinical, at Northern Regional Hospital that many students aren’t even aware of. This program allows them to see those careers first-hand. Our hope is that we can provide experiences to help set them on their desired career path.”
The Junior Volunteers in this summer program included Emory Anderson, Abygail Caro, Devan Fagg, Sophie Hutchens, Chloe Koons, Zona Raasch, Ella Simmons, Chloe Stone, Kaylee Thomas, and Brie Wilmoth from East Surry High School; Isabella Allen, Emilee Corn, Abby Epperson, Bill Rierson, Niya Smith, and Katelyn York from Mount Airy High School; Cheyenne Rogers from Millennium Charter Academy; Madyson Collins, Kaylee Edwards, Serenity Goodwin, Sadie Moore, and Jordan Snow from North Surry High School; Jaiden Bledsoe, Colby Cruise, Jennifer Duran-Martinez, Natalie Fermin, Priscilla Gentry, Kayli Grizzell, Chloe Johnson, Lily O’Neal, Alexis Stanley, Ivy Toney, Brianna Wilmoth, and Payton Wood from Surry Central High School; Jordin Beasley, Saylor Jennings, Betsy Perez-Martin, and Addison Southern from Surry Early College High School; and Abby Edwards and Kirsten Sivalski from West Stokes High School.
A minimum of 40 volunteer hours was required for each volunteer to complete the program. Most of the Junior Volunteers volunteered for more than the minimum hours, and the highest number of volunteer hours completed by one volunteer was 207 hours, by volunteer Jordin Beasley. The Junior Volunteers collectively contributed 2,223 hours of volunteer service this summer, in 17 different departments.
Junior Volunteers work in almost every area of the hospital including surgery, emergency, security, skilled nursing, the birthing center, intensive care, med/surg, and Hospital-owned physician practices and clinics.
Junior Volunteer Abby Epperson quote: “After the wonderful experience I had the previous summer, I knew I wanted to come back this summer and volunteer. This year, I was able to try areas that I didn’t expect to enjoy. Once of those was Skilled Nursing. I never thought I would enjoy my time there as much as I did, but spending my time with the wonderful resident made me laugh and smile countless times. This summer, I was also able to spend more time in the department that I love the most – labor and delivery. The nurses were amazing teachers and workers set such a great example for me and my aspirations! I learned and saw so much more during my time, but these are just a couple of my favorites!”
Junior Volunteer Kaylee Edwards quote: “Throughout my time in the Junior Volunteer program, I have learned many things. I have learned what departments and tasks I enjoy, while also learning things that I do not enjoy. One of the major benefits of participating in this program is that it has allowed me to be exposed to many different aspects of the healthcare career field. I was able to view a variety of things from surgery to long-term care, in addition to many others. Through this, I was able to find my career path. What sticks out in my mind the most about this experience is the feeling that I am making a difference. No matter how big or small the task, it makes a difference in the patients’ lives. I am grateful to all the staff at Northern Regional Hospital for this opportunity, as well as their helpful and nurturing attitude throughout this program.”
The Junior Volunteers closed out their summer program with an appreciation banquet held for them at Surry Community College Grand Hall Thursday, August 3, 2023. Nick Ballard, President-Elect for HOSA- Future Health Professionals International Executive Council was the guest speaker for the night.
Applications for the next Summer Junior Volunteer program at Northern Regional Hospital will be accepted beginning in January 2024 via their website at choosenorthern.org. For other volunteer opportunities for youth and adults, contact Tina Beasley, Manager, Volunteer Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.