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Teen Volunteers Are Scholars, Too

Volunteer Voice - Fall 2007

Most M. D. Anderson teen volunteers are back at school by now, but some of our longtime teens are off to college with a little help from 2007 Volunteer Gift Shop scholarships.

Nine outstanding teen volunteers were awarded $2,500 scholarships to help support their education.

“It’s wonderful that Volunteer Services can assist these young volunteers who have given so much of their time to M. D. Anderson,” says Susan French, executive director of the department. “We know these teens well and appreciate that they have made a difference in the lives of our patients and their families.”

Chaired by Caroline Sabin, a volunteer representative from The Junior League of Houston, Inc., the scholarship committee selected the following 2007 teen scholarship recipients:

Teen scholarship winners take a break from their volunteer duties for a photo outside. Pictured left to right are Ricky Post, Ebony Corneiro, Beverly Patuwo, Christina Dwan, Kristine Singleton and Kayla Beatty. Not pictured are Crystal Law, Jessica Zhao and Hyo-Jin Chae. The teens are all outstanding M. D. Anderson volunteers, who are also involved in their schools, churches and community.

Kayla Beatty, a graduate of Morton Ranch High School, is attending the University of North Texas this fall. She has been a volunteer in the gift shops, the Patient Family Center, the Coffee Craft Cart and more. In addition, she also volunteered at her church and at the Sickle Cell Association. At school, she was captain of the women’s basketball team, the lead technician for the theatre sound group and a member of the National Society of High School Scholars.

Drawn to Emory University because of the opportunity to volunteer at the university hospital or at the nearby Center for Disease Control, Hyo-Jin Chae is off to fulfill her goal of becoming a doctor. She began volunteering at M. D. Anderson in 2004 and has worked as volunteer staff support and on the movie/audio cart. She also found time to be a part of her volunteer organization at school and volunteered through the Citizens for Animal Protection and the Golden Age Manor.

Ebony Corneirois taking her bilingual ability to The University of Texas at San Antonio. Ebony also promises that she’ll be back during the summer to add to the volunteer hours she has already accumulated. The gift shops, library, patient discharge, ATC/Transfusion and more benefited from her work at M. D. Anderson. At school, she was a class representative to the Student Council, a member of the National Honor Society, the National Spanish Honor Society and a student member of the National Association of Black Journalists. She also worked alongside her father to build three homes for Habitat for Humanity.

A graduate of Bellaire High School, Christina Dwan now attends the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she majors in Biomedical Engineering. She hopes to someday conduct genetics research to find new treatments for genetics disorders and cancers. At M. D. Anderson, she worked in the research labs for two years. Christina was also active at school as a member of a girls’ service club called Antares, the Bellaire International Student Association, the National Honor Society and the Bellaire Chinese Club. She spent part of her summers as a counselor at a Chinese Youth Camp.

From Volunteer Staff Support to the Popcorn Cart, Crystal Law has volunteered at M. D. Anderson since 2005. Now this St. John’s School graduate is spending time at The University of Texas at Austin. She was captain of the swimming/diving team and the golf team at St. John’s, as well as a National Merit Commended Student and an AP Scholar with Distinction.

Beverly Patuwo, a graduate of the DeBakey High School for Health Professions, discovered that she enjoyed the patient contacts she made while volunteering at M. D. Anderson. She has been a staff support volunteer and also worked in a wide variety of volunteer areas around the hospital. Beverly has a goal to work in international healthcare and is part of the Rice University/Baylor College of Medicine Medical Scholars Program. In high school, she was president of the United Way/Kids Way program, her senior class, team captain of the Academic Decathlon and a Coca Cola National Scholar.

Ricky Postspent his volunteer time with the Children’s Art Project. As the most consistent “young” volunteer in an older crowd, he enjoyed the mentorship he received and says he is committed to future volunteering at M. D. Anderson. Ricky graduated from Strake Jesuit College Preparatory and now attends Southwestern University. In high school, he was a varsity letterman in wrestling and tennis and also represented his class on the student council.

The Coffee Craft Cart was a brighter place because Kristine Singleton was behind it for two years. She enjoyed serving up “not just coffee, but also love” to the patients. A graduate of Sterling High School, she now attends The University of Texas at Austin. During her high school career, she was a member of the Key Club, the National Honor Society, a violinist in the Houston Youth Symphony and the president of the Sterling High School Orchestra.

A member of the “Birthday Brigade” at M. D. Anderson, Jessica Zhao made excellent use of her volunteer time at M. D. Anderson. She visited patients, bringing birthday greetings, and also worked on the Coffee Craft Cart and in the Cyber Center. At Bellaire High School, she was the “people” editor of the yearbook, treasurer of the Antares service club, a member of the National Honor Society and a National Merit Finalist. Jessica is now a student at Wellesley College.

The teens all volunteered at M. D. Anderson for a minimum of two years and each worked an average of 340 volunteer hours.

“We’re delighted that our proceeds allowed us to up our scholarship awards to nine this year,” says Sandy Gomel, manager, retail operations for the Volunteer Gift Shops and Appearances. It’s a pleasure for all of us to support these young volunteers.”

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