Youth Forward scholarship summer 2016 – A Little Goes A Long Way

Name: Kendall Oliver
From: Orlando, Florida
Grade: 11th
School: Olympia High School
Votes: 0

For as long as I can remember, I’ve known that I wanted to make a
difference in this world, no matter how small. That’s why my goal
of becoming a doctor is so important to me. I just always thought I’d
have to wait until after medical school to start. So when I was
offered the chance to volunteer at a local hospital, I jumped at it.

I’ve spent almost two years volunteering at Health Central
Hospital, for four hours every week. As a volunteer, I help the
nurses and doctors with whatever they need, whether it be filing
medical records or helping patients eat food. But there’s more than
that. Talking to lonely patients for hours about their lives isn’t
a part of the job description, but it’s just as important. People
go to the hospital for physical trauma, but we often forget the toll
it takes on someone mentally. I have the ability to help brighten a
patient’s day and make their experience a little more bearable.
It’s certainly not the flashiest position, but it is one that
matters. My greatest challenge as a volunteer hasn’t been what I’ve
had to do, rather it’s what I can’t do. I am limited in what I can
do to help patients recover. This sense of helplessness hasn’t
discouraged me, instead it’s fueled my drive to become a doctor
even more. I want to be the one researching ways to save even more
lives than we can now.

Volunteering at the hospital has been such a rewarding experience. It
has opened my eyes to the fragility of life and made me appreciate my
good health. But beyond that, my love of volunteerism has grown. I
now feel like I have a part in this community, and a duty to it as
well. I hope that by showing people how meaningful service can be,
others will begin to see it not as a chore, but as an opportunity to
change the world around them. Maybe the child of a patient will see
me and think “I can do that.” That’s why I believe forward
looking is not only doing things for the immediate rewards, but with
the intention of having a future impact. I volunteer at the hospital
not just because it helps me grow in character, but because I am
making a difference in my community. Making a difference does not
always mean leaving a physical mark. Going to the hospital is one of
the most traumatic things that can happen to a person. People will
relive those moments over and over again in their head. So, if even
for a second, someone remembers the smile on my face or a comforting
word I said, I believe that is a difference that I have made. My
volunteering at one hospital may seem insignificant in the grand
scheme of things, but I know that my work has touched the lives of
many people, and that makes it worth it to me.

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