Volunteer of the Week: Youths volunteer at Vaughan

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 9, 2004

Vaughan Regional Medical Center’s Students-in-Service Program ended July 29 with a celebration of the contributions of 47 youth volunteers

who had spent six weeks working at the hospital this summer.

Parents and friends of the students gathered at 6 p.m. for refreshments and commendations from the hospital’s CEO, Steve Mahan.

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“It’s the largest group we’ve ever had,” said Zaneta Lowe, director of marketing and public relations for the hospital.

“Recruiting began in May when a letter was sent to all area middle and high schools. Every young person who completed the application process was accepted into the program,” she said. More than 60 sent in applications, she said.

The program is for ages 14 and up, and students are able to choose among 15 departments of the hospital for their summer’s work. Additionally, there is flexibility in hours worked, she said.

Most worked from 30-50 hours in the program, some as few as 20, another

112 hours. Ordinarily the students work on two days a week. One student asked to work every day and the request was granted due to the hospital’s needs and the student’s ability and availability.

The program ran from June 6 through July 28.

Lowe said that many students

enter the program to satisfy community service hours for graduation from high school. Others have vocational interests in the healthcare field and want to get some experience. Still others, she said, simply want to help people.

The program was begun by the hospital auxiliary which constitutes the hospital’s regular adult volunteer force.

“We want this to become an ever more prestigious program in the community in future years,” Lowe said, “so that the students will feel honored to be selected and the hospital will get the cream of the crop who will go on from this experience to help others here in Selma and elsewhere.”

Brittany Brown, 14, a freshman at Selma High School, was one of the younger members in the program, but was the one who requested and received permission to work five days a week

in the department of information services, working with computers.

“She’s a very easy learner,” said Rodney McCarroll, systems analyst, who was her supervisor. “In the first two days on the job we gave her the grassroots basics and then she was off and running. She’s made a good contribution. She’s young and eager to learn. She’s done everything from installing computer hardware to setting up PC stations and networking printers. She’s one of the best student workers we’ve had here.”

Brittany, whose mother works in the dietary department,

said that she would most likely work at Vaughan next summer. “It was really a hands-on experience with computers,” she said.

Donald Steele, 17, a senior at Selma High School who is public relations officer for the Student Government Association, was another student who took advantage of the Students-in-Service Program at Vaughan, taking an assignment in the marketing and public relations office headed by Lowe.

“I helped inform the public about Vaughan Regional Medical Center’s events and also worked on communications within the hospital community,” he said. “I worked with The Selma Times-Journal and with the PR firm of Madden & Associates, and with a men’s health seminar. Also each day I helped with answering the phone and filing. I was able to offer suggestions and helped with the research for the hospital’s “Health Minutes” aired on Radio Station Dixie 100. The research was the hardest part of the job,” he said.

Steele said he plans to go to college and to study public relations.

Other jobs in which Steele is engaged include working in the Dallas County clerk’s office, with the Selma Umpire Association and for the City of Selma cemetery department.