Anika Rajput is a rising junior at the University of Washington, where she is studying biochemistry and environmental health. She hopes to go to medical school and become a physician so that she can help families and their communities build a strong foundation of health.

Anika was first introduced to StudentsCare while she was looking for ways to give back to her community during the pandemic.  When the Covid pandemic first began, it quickly became evident that seniors living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities were extremely vulnerable. In addition to the health risks, many older adults experienced increased loneliness and isolation due to the restrictions on visitors. Seeing the need for action, StudentsCare adapted its volunteer programing to better serve this vulnerable population. The Senior Buddy Program was launched in April 2020 to help alleviate loneliness and isolation among seniors.

The StudentsCare mission to connect “undergraduate healthcare students nationwide with hospitalized children, isolated seniors, and their families, to provide fun, friendship and support” aligned perfectly with Anika’s goals and beliefs, so she decided to bring a chapter of StudentsCare to the University of Washington – Seattle campus.

Anika is currently chapter president and hopes to grow StudentsCare at UW through both the senior buddy program and hospital buddy program. This fall will be the first active quarter for the UW Chapter, but Anika and other members have already gotten the opportunity to volunteer at Queen Anne Healthcare over the summer. Through their work with StudentsCare, Anika and her fellow volunteers plan on making impact on the lives of hospitalized children and isolated older adults in their community.

Her favorite memory from volunteering this summer was getting to make ice cream by hand with the residents and listening to residents’ stories about making ice cream as a child. She is very excited to see where this school year takes them.

Thank you, Anika for all you’ve done to get the UW chapter started, we are so happy to have you on the team!