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Summer Volunteering: Hospitality, Stephanie the Awesome Intern, and Hospital Expectations

Ava McDonough is a rising 9th-grader at St. Anne’s-Belfield School and part of UVA’s Summer Volunteer Program. Here are her reflections on volunteering at UVA.

Going through weeks 5 and 6 has been great, as we’ve learned more and more about how fun and rewarding it can be to help others at UVA Medical Center.

UVA volunteer driving the patient courtesy shuttle
Junior volunteer Shassata Fahim was trained on driving the patient courtesy shuttle.

One of the jobs in hospitality is driving the cart from the Northgate entrance to the West Complex and back. I asked Jordyn, one of the volunteers driving the cart, what it was like. She said it was a lot of fun. Jordyn is one of the first junior volunteers to drive the cart ever. Her favorite part is getting to talk to the visitors and patients. One man told her about how when he went to Italy, he rode on a boat where they would sing to him as they moved down the canals; he asked if Jordyn could sing to him.

Lots of little kids always ask their parents if they can ride it when the cart passes by. Jordyn says, “It’s something different; I mean you don’t get to say you drive a golf cart around in a hospital very often.”

Stephanie Sisak, or as we call her, Stephanie the Awesome Intern, is a UVA student intern who works around the volunteer services office. If one of our shifts ends early, Stephanie will give us an errand to run or some way to help out. It’s great how she gives her time to help out all of us!

UVA’s expectations are a lot about R.I.S.E., which stands for respect, integrity, stewardship and excellence. We volunteers remember this throughout the day as we strive to say please and thank you, communicate clearly with others, improve progress and contributing by sharing ideas. When using these skills we can achieve great customer service!

The last 6 weeks have been wonderful. We have seen and learned many new things and applied them to helping others.

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