Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Volunteering at the Stamford Hospital

Name: Karol Suchowiecki
From: Stamford, Connecticut
Grade: 12
School: Stamford High School
Votes: 29


In this day in age, community service is both important to society and the individual. It serves as
a gateway to extensive opportunities and new options for my own
future. Simultaneously, volunteering strengthens and improves the
community for future generations. Community provides vital learning
experiences that can shape the way a person thinks, lives, and
interacts.

One of my greatest learning experiences in the past four years has come from volunteering at the
Stamford Hospital. My weekly visits gave me an insider’s look as to
what it’s like to suffer from physical and mental illnesses that are
potentially life threatening. I’ve become much more aware and
sympathetic towards patients and their various health complications.
This inspired me to shape my life on the principle that the little
things, such as a smile or simple “hello” go a long way in
helping patients. Specifically, in the hospital, the goal is to make
the patients feel right at home, even though this is difficult to
accomplish in such an emotional place.

This volunteering experience has taught me that in life, it’s important
to respect the people you serve and the people that serve you. I’ve
become a more aware and cautious person from volunteering at the
hospital. The happiness that I receive from performing unselfish
tasks has transformed me into an individual who places the needs of
others, especially those who seek help, before my own desires. One
specific experience that stood out to me was when an older, female
patient was carrying a large supply of bags back to her car. Since I
volunteered at the front desk, I saw the lady struggling to carry
everything and knew she needed some assistance. Therefore, I got out
of my chair and asked her if I could do anything to help her out.
Before she could even reply, I saw the look of awe in her face and
immediately knew how much a small act of kindness could impact
someone, even alter their mood. Once all of the bags were loaded into
the car, the woman was beaming and could not have looked more
grateful. Although these types of experiences happen frequently in
hospital settings, they show that small things can make a huge
difference in any situation. From all of the experiences I’ve had
while simply volunteering at the hospital’s front desk, I’ve
learned that this mantra applies to life in general; It’s the
little things in life that count the most. Even the smallest gestures
can completely change someone’s day.


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