(8/25/10) - McLeod Medical Center Dillon recently recognized nineteen area teens for their participation in the 2010 Teen Summer Volunteer Program. A closing ceremony was held at McLeod Medical Center Dillon for the teens and their parents marking the 22nd anniversary of the program.
During their two-month summer vacations, the teens volunteered to work directly with hospital health care professionals for at least 20 hours per month gaining experience in a variety of health care occupations.
Estelle Ellis, Teen Volunteer Coordinator for the past ten years, gave some brief information on the program's origin. "The volunteer program began in 1988 as an idea to interest high school teens in health care careers. Offering teens an opportunity for 'hands on' participation in a health care environment has always been the program's objective."
Cindy Causey, Associate Administrator of Human and Mission Services at McLeod Medical Center Dillon, opened the ceremony with prayer and thanked the teens for sharing their summer with McLeod Dillon. Causey expressed her gratitude and appreciation for the 753 hours of teen volunteer service to the hospital this summer. "I've been impressed with the hard work and involvement of this volunteer group. You are to be commended for sharing your time and talents. We hope you will remember this as a rewarding experience. I hope this experience has helped each of you decide if a career in health care is right for you. There are many opportunities in health care in both patient care areas and in business services. From experience, I can say that it's a rewarding career choice.
"McLeod Health offers many scholarships for the different health related careers available. And, when you've completed your education, remember that McLeod Health is always looking for bright, talented health care professionals."
The evening's special guest speaker, Tiffany Gibson, is a 2003 graduate of Dillon High School where she finished as Salutatorian. A 2007 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Francis Marion University, she majored in Political Science with a minor in Mathematics. She was a member of the Provost Student Advisory Committee and a Vice President of Student Affairs Student Advisory Committee. She was also a member Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society, Kappa Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society, and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2010. During her law school career, she served as Community Service Coordinator of the Black Law Students Association and Historian of the South Carolina Association for Justice. She was also a member of Women in the Law, Public Interest Law Society, and American Constitution Society. Her recent clerkship prior to graduation was a law clerk for the SC Department of Education Office of General Counsel.
Ellis personally thanked the volunteers as they each received a certificate of appreciation. "This has been a great opportunity for the teens to receive hands-on experience in different areas of healthcare. While they are volunteering their time, they receive so much in return. It's also a win-win opportunity for McLeod Dillon. We not only receive the benefit of the help they provide us, but we also have a hand in positively shaping their lives.
"The teens worked in various areas of the hospital during the months of June and July, performing such tasks as transporting patients, answering phones, making patient charts, supporting outpatient department staff, assisting with marketing projects and a myriad of others. Last, but not least, they brought a lot of joy to our patients and the staff with their friendly smiles and greetings. "This has been a great summer for all involved, we're sad that it's ended and look forward to next summer's group," said Ellis.
The list of teens honored along with the number of years each has volunteered in parentheses include: Shana Berry (1 year), Antonio Butler (3 years), Hannah M. Carmichael (1 year), Jamesa M. Dunham (1 year), Liza Dwyer (1 year), Sarah K. Fitzgibbon (1 year), Brittany P. Fore (2 years), Brittani Godbold (1 year), Chelsea Hyatt (1 year), Jennifer M. James (1 year), Matt J. Jordan (1 year), Cemolea L. Lampley (2 years), Zipporah Lighty (1 year), Bri'yana McCoy (3 years), Ariel N. Pearson (2 years), Rebecca L. Sanchez (2 years), Katie S. Stoops (3 years), Chelsey L. Wallace (1 year), and Dezirae' Wright (2 years).
Rebecca Sanchez and Zipporah Lighty, both having volunteered 49 hours, and, Ariel Pearson having volunteered 48.55 hours received a certificate of special recognition for most volunteer hours. A certificate of excellence was presented to Katie Stoops, Bri'yana McCoy, and Antonia Butler for most volunteer years, having all volunteered for 3 years.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Ellis encouraged all the teens to return for next year's Summer Teen Volunteer Program.