Name: Berna Aliya
From: Snellville, GA
School: Brookwood High School
As future leaders who are destined to change the world, the youth need
to start their trek to greatness early. Volunteering is a way for us
to express our desire to make a difference and be a part of something
we love while helping others.
I chose to volunteer at Gwinnett Medical Center because I am planning
on pursuing a degree in medicine, so it was essential for me to see
how the field works. I get to interact with actual patients and meet
some very inspirational people. For the past two summers, I have
worked 4 hour shifts, twice a week for 8 weeks. This year I had the
pleasure of working in the Surgery Waiting Area. As patients came in
for surgery, I checked them in and lead them into their pre-op rooms.
During the surgery, I kept the family updated and set up conferences
with doctors for them.
As a volunteer, I don’t think I’m alone in my fear that I’m not
contributing enough or making enough of a difference. It’s also
sometimes difficult for me to find the confidence to talk to people
and engage them in a conversation during a stressful time in their
My fears are overcome whenever a patient shoots me a smile or shakes my
hand and says, “Thank you for being here” or “You made my day a
The people I’ve met and worked with taught me to appreciate life
because you never know when your day can turn into a nightmare. I’ve
learned to always be kind because other people may be going through a
hard time and to not give anyone the power to let me down.
My future career will require me to work in a hospital setting so
volunteering in one will prep me for the anticipated experiences. As
a doctor, I will need to interact with patients and their families,
but luckily I’ve had adequate experience with them as a volunteer.
Forward looking means setting goals for a brighter future and using new ideas
to become more innovative. My activities represent this ideal because
they allow me to achieve my goals and prepare me to make a difference
little by little.
Changing the world doesn’t have to be on a global scale. Simply making
someone laugh or smile everyday is enough. If I can just make one
person’s day better or easier, then that is enough for me.
In a few decades, I will remember my time as a volunteer by having made
lifelong connections to those I met and to those who taught me life
skills I will never forget. Maybe I’ll see some of those people
again and they’ll say, “You made my life better that day”, then
I will know that my volunteer activities were worthwhile. The world
is a small place. My actions could inspire a domino effect, and the
people I helped could help more people. This is how we will change