To gain valuable experience and help spread joy to pediatric patients and their families, Ava joined StudentsCare. “I hope to become a pediatrician so I can provide care and ensure quality of life for my patients. Being able to volunteer through StudentsCare has given me exposure to the field I aspire to work in while also giving me to opportunity to bring smiles to the faces of pediatric patients,” she says.
Being a part of StudentsCare has opened her eyes to the incredible strength and spirit of the children she visits.“My involvement with StudentsCare has taught me about the undying resilience children can have. Patients I visit are going through some of the hardest times. Despite of this, they have the biggest smiles on their face when I walk into the room and ask if they are open to spending time with me.”
“I find that after every volunteer shift, I have a patient interaction that really sticks with me. At one of my recent visits, I spent time with a high-school aged patient. We spent time playing chess and talking about things we both like around Austin. Being close in age, we were able to relate to each other. When it came time for me to leave, the patient thanked me for spending time with him and told me how grateful he was because he had not had many visitors during his hospital stay,” says Ava. “This really stuck with me as a piece of motivation to continue to volunteer. I want to continue to be there for patients, especially those who need to company the most.”
Our Hospital Buddy Program is more than just volunteering – it’s a way to bring joy to children who are experiencing long-term hospitalization. Our college student volunteers partner with hospital staff to offer direct emotional support to pediatric patients. And for Ava, it’s about more than just playing games and telling stories – it’s about bringing a sense of normality to the lives of these young patients. She sees firsthand the positive impact of spending time with these kids. “I am aware that most of the patients I am visiting have had extended stays at the hospital,” she says. “Being able play Barbie’s with a patient, race them in Mario Kart, or tell stories allows me to bring a sense of normality to a child who is experiencing a hard time. It is heartwarming to see how a patient lights up when I ask them if I could spend time with them.”
We’re blown away by Ava’s dedication to making a difference, and we know her future patients will be too!
If you’re looking to make a difference in someone’s life and bring a little happiness to children in the hospital, join our Hospital Buddy Program at your university.
“Being able to volunteer through StudentsCare has given me exposure to the field I aspire to work in while also giving me to opportunity to bring smiles to the faces of pediatric patients.”