‘A work of heart’ was the motto for Maimonides Medical Center for the annual Volunteer Students Recognition Ceremony. Seventeen high schools and their students were congratulated on Wednesday, May 20 during a breakfast held at Maimonides Hall. The staff thanked the students for a job well done.
“This school year, we had 85 high school students with us who have contributed to almost 17,000 hours of volunteer service,” said Director of Volunteer and Student Services, Alla Zats. “I’m so proud of all of our students.”
Fatima Shama, vice president of strategic affairs echoed her sentiments and discussed the students’ hard work and sacrifice. “You come to us from your schools with probably a load of homework you should be doing,” she said. You have other activities, but you spend days in our offices helping our amazing team of clinicians and administrative folks who make this hospital what it is which is quite honestly a brilliant star in Brooklyn.”
The feeling was mutual, as New Utrecht High School student and volunteer Amna Nawaz shared her experience with the hospital. “Growing up, most kids have a favorite color or ice cream flavor, but what I had was a favorite hospital. I remember bragging to my friends about my stay at Maimonides Hospital as a patient three times,” she said, explaining why her time spent volunteering was so valuable. “My experience here has taught me that it’s not only important to give back to communities but also to love each other as a collective family.”
Throughout the year, the nearly 90 students performed several tasks, from answering phone calls to filing. They also learned skills that will help them in a future career in medicine.
“Each and every one of you is here for the same purpose, which is to save lives, to help better the community and learn something about yourself,” said internship coordinator Daniel Kamelhar from Magen David Yeshiva High School. “Each of you have the opportunity to take something out of the time you put in here and to be able to learn develop skills, to be able to accelerate in your future.”
Throughout the morning, there were raffles, and a breakfast spread. Awards were also given out to Maimonides personnel.
“Maybe you want to be a doctor one day, maybe it’s because you’re hoping it will help on your college applications,” Shama added. “Whatever the reason, you give up yourself to us. And you help us do what we need to do to care for our patients and their families. And for that, you should walk out of here proud.”