Maimonides Medical Center honored its student volunteers with a special recognition ceremony and breakfast on Wednesday, May 8 at 9 a.m., in Maimonides Hall, 950 49th Street.
Two hundred student volunteers from 25 different schools were recognized for their hard work and dedication year after year. Some schools have been a part of the program for over 25 years, and all combined contributed over 20,000 hours of service to the medical center.
“They work in different medical offices and various nursing areas including medical, surgical, intensive care and pediatrics,” said Alla Zats, director of volunteer student services at Maimonides Medical Center.
“They also help in support services and their help is invaluable,” she went on. “It helps them develop important work skills that will benefit them throughout their medical careers and other careers in the healthcare industry.”
Opening remarks were delivered by Maimonides Executive Vice President and Special Assistant to the President Douglas Jablon and welcoming remarks were given by Maimonides President and CEO Kenneth Gibbs.
“The energy of the kids is incredibly exciting,” said Gibbs. “It fills me with a sense of optimism and I take real satisfaction to see the next generation of leaders will be going forward to change the world for the better.”
Guest speakers included Ailene Mitchell, principal, Peter Rouget J.H.S. 88 and Nedda DeCastro, principal, International High School at Prospect Heights.
“This is a celebration of learning and a celebration of doing,” said Mitchell. “It’s about all the different ways kids can practice what they’re learning in the classroom. It’s the true application of their learning skills.”
DeCastro received a special Appreciation of Invaluable Service award. “I feel like I’m really at home here because I used to work in hospitals and I really support this exponential learning for students,” DeCastro told this paper.
“They need to be out in the world and see what health care really is. It’s so much more complex than doctor-nurse, and there’s so much more that a young person, or any person, can do to support people and have a career and explore the big world that’s out there,” added DeCastro.
Participating schools included AHRC Middle/High School, Al-Noor High School, Brooklyn-Queens-Long Island Area Health Education Center, Brooklyn International High School, Edward R. Murrow High School, F.D.R. High School, Futures and Options, International High School at Lafayette, International High School at Prospect Heights, John Dewey High School, Magen David Yeshiva High School, New Utrecht High School, Peter Rouget Middle School 88, Roy Campanella OTC, Sunset Park High School, the Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders and West Brooklyn Community High School, among others.
“Here at Maimonides, we are very proud to be the largest site for [the city’s] Summer Youth Employment Program and the 1199 SEIU Youth Mentoring Program,” explained Zats. “This program gives young people the opportunity to gain important skills and work ethic, as well as invaluable work experience that they can use in their future careers.”