Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Student Volunteers

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the 2009 Junior Achievement of Middle America Greater Kansas City Business Hall of Fame dinner. Congratulations to the dinner's honorees: Tom Bowser of Blue Cross Blue Shield, Carol Marinovich, Former Mayor/CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas and the family of the late Jack Lockton, Founder of Lockton, Inc.

Junior Achievement, as many of you know, is a partnership between the business community, educators and volunteers. This important program provides students opportunities to practice their workplace skills, learn about business and ready themselves for careers. Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students in grades K-12 about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.

Here at St. Joseph, we know firsthand how student workers can impact a workplace. I think I have mentioned in the past that St. Joseph Medical Center has a fantastic auxiliary/volunteer program. Our student volunteers are a big component of that.

This year we have 93 student volunteers working in many areas of the hospital. Our summer students served in 32 areas and our fall/winter students serve in 21 areas (including the CEO's office). The students have represented 27 different schools and more than half a dozen colleges and universities. We are proud to be a recommended choice for community service for several local high schools.

St. Joseph also provides scholarships every year to students who apply and have outstanding service records. We have provided these $500 scholarships to 17 students so far. A couple of years ago, we had the pleasure of seeing one of the first recipients of the student volunteer scholarship come back to us as a resident in training. Dr. Amy gave us 525 hours of volunteer service.

Our student volunteer coordinator stopped me in the hall the other day to let me know that one of our students was paired with golfer Tom Watson in a the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach over Labor Day weekend. A celebrity in our midst!

I am interested to hear how students are used and progress in your organization.

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