Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – How volunteering defined my future

Name: Ariadna Marrero
From: Miami, Florida
Grade: 12th
School: Ariadna Marrero
Votes: 1

Last summer I volunteered in the pediatric unit of Jackson Memorial
Hospital. Five days a week, eight hours a day, for two months, I
ran
from patient to patient: rocking a two month old to sleep, coloring
with a four year old, losing at Mario Kart against a fourteen year
old, hosting dance parties for a seventeen year old. My job as a
volunteer required me to perform myriad of odd jobs but the bottom
line was to be available for the patients and their parents when they
need something and trying to provide the most normal life possible
for a kid suffering from cancer or other life threatening diseases.

I spent my summer giving these children a much needed break from
reality, I was blessed with the opportunity to be a friend to these
isolated 
kids. I spent hours walking around the floor checking in on every room in
order to ensure the child
s
physical as well as emotional needs were meet. In my months at the
hospital I was faced with several tasks and challenges in which I
learned time management, leadership, and compassion. The most
important lesson I learned was from a patient, a two year old named
Keshanie McFarlene, that happiness is not dependent on the
circumstance but how one deals with it; I learned there is never a
reason not to smile. This little girl who knows nothing outside of
that hospital, a girl dying with every reason to hate life, is
clothed in a radiant smile. Yet in my time volunteering at the
hospital I learned the hardest part is losing a patient, you learn
theres nothing you can do to stop nor prevent it from occurring but
you find comfort in knowing you made an impact in their life, placing
a smile on the patients face, becoming a friend in a lonely, scary
place, changing their life for the better.

Last summer I worked in a hospital, and I learned there is no where I’d
rather be. I had always had an affinity for the medical field but I
was never sure in what subfield I wanted to focus on but because of
that life changing experience I now plan on pursuing a specialization
in pediatric surgery, in order to continue to impact the life of
these deserving children.


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