Summertime usually means kids out enjoying their break from school and work, but not for some local teenagers who are volunteering to help others during their summer vacation. It’s through a program called volunteens, at Comanche County Memorial Hospital.
Pooja Velury has been a volunteen at CCMH for 4 years.
“I think when I first came here I was definitely not expecting to see as much as I got to or do as much as I got to,” said Velury. “And I think I’ve evolved with the program. And I think that’s something that I’m really grateful for.”
Velury has volunteered in almost every area of the hospital. In the 8-week long program, the teens are exposed to many aspects of health care, giving them the opportunity to work hands on in an area they are interested in.
“Comanche county does such a great job with caring about the teens and making sure that there is always something to see,” said Velury. “I think that for someone interested in the medical field, it’s a great way to observe but also volunteer at the same time.”
Velury says the things she’s learned over the course of 4 years, has really helped her decide what direction she wants to go in the medical field.
“I’ve learned a lot about individual people, which has created a map of different peoples faces, different experiences,” said Velury. “And all those things have helped to shape my experience in the medical field. I’ve also seen it from a doctor’s perspective, and a nurse’s perspective. So overall it’s given me a better well-rounded view of the medical field.”
Most of the teens volunteer 2 to 3 days a week in areas such as surgicare, the ER, Human resources, physician’s offices, and many others. Velury says she encourages other students to try it out.
“Definitely apply,” said Velury. “I would tell them that my experience here was great and I think that it’s definitely something worth their time.”
By the time the program is over at the end of July, the students will have racked up over 3000 service hours that can go toward honor roll in school.
To become a volunteen students must be at least 14 years old and just finished 8th grade.
The applications are available each May for the students to come fill out.