In an inspiring display of community engagement, a group of 36 teenagers joined forces with South Georgia Medical Center to contribute their time and effort as summer volunteers. These individuals, driven by a passion for helping others and a desire to make a positive impact, are making a difference in the lives of patients and staff at the hospital over the upcoming six weeks.
With the aim of fostering a spirit of volunteerism and igniting a desire for a career in healthcare, SGMC relaunched the Summer “Volunteen” Program after a brief hiatus due to COVID-19. The program provides an opportunity for teenagers to engage in meaningful service while learning about various jobs offered in the health system during their summer break. In its 16th year, the program has proven to be a success, attracting a significant number of compassionate and motivated young individuals from Lowndes, Berrien, Cook, and Tift counties.
According to Manager of Volunteer Services Maya Loizeaux, “Throughout the summer, these remarkable teenagers are immersing themselves in various departments and activities within the hospital. From assisting nurses on the floors to helping other departments who support patient care, the young volunteers display an admirable commitment to the well-being and recovery of our patients.”
By working closely with healthcare professionals and witnessing the daily challenges and triumphs of patient care, these teenagers gain valuable insights into the healthcare industry. Furthermore, participants develop crucial skills such as empathy, teamwork, and effective communication.
SGMC’s Chief Human Resources Officer Brenda Alexander shared that healthcare can often seem complex and intimidating to individuals who have limited exposure to it. “By familiarizing teenagers with healthcare careers, we demystify the industry, breaking down barriers and misconceptions. This opportunity helps them understand the inner workings of healthcare, the roles of different professionals, and the positive impact they can have on patients’ lives,” she said.
SGMC’s Volunteen Program serves as a shining example of how young individuals can positively impact their community and gain personal growth through volunteering. SGMC encourages others in the area to follow suit and get involved in similar initiatives, as every act of kindness, no matter how small, can make a difference in the lives of others.
For more information, visit sgmc.org.