The Medical Center Auxiliary Honors Teen Volunteers at Awards Ceremony

Published: Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Senior Teen Volunteers (L to R)  Elizabeth Swett, Nicholas Ross, McNeely Rockwell, Trevor Munn, Indira Islas, Cody Cagle, Emily Dufty, Abigail Bryson, Hannah Beck and Ashleigh Bishop.

The Medical Center Auxiliary honored more than 100 teen volunteers at an appreciation dinner last week at the Brenau Downtown Center.

An astounding 140 teen volunteers from 27 schools were accepted into the 2016 Summer Program, and they have donated 4,834 hours to service at Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s (NGMC) hospitals in Gainesville and Braselton.

 “We had an exceptional group of teen volunteers – who no doubt were highly capable, compassionate and had an incredible eagerness to help others,” said Nancy Colston, president and chief development officer of The Medical Center Foundation. 

“We look forward to the Teen Volunteer Program each year, and it is very exciting to see the branch of The Medical Center Auxiliary and volunteer services established at the Braselton campus,” said Meah Kent, manager of Volunteer Services at NGMC Braselton.  “The teen volunteers touch the lives of many patients, visitors and staff – and we appreciate their dedication, enthusiasm and service during their short summer break.”

Dot Dusenberry, president of The Medical Center Auxiliary, presented The Andrew J. Dockery Teen Volunteer of the Year Award and a $1,500 scholarship to Indira Islas.  Indira has volunteered since 2013 and given more than 1,000 hours –a record in the history of the Auxiliary’s teen volunteer program. She graduated from Gainesville High School and plans to attend the University of Delaware this fall to begin working on her career goal of becoming a pediatric oncologist. 

The Medical Center Auxiliary sponsors a creative writing contest for teen volunteers each summer.  The teens are encouraged to write a short essay about what their volunteering experience has meant to them.  Lajuania Lester, Volunteer Services coordinator, presented awards to this year’s winner, Carley English – an upcoming senior at Chestatee High School, who has volunteered 50 hours. 

The Medical Center Auxiliary also sponsors a t-shirt design contest.  Teens were asked to use the theme “Teen Volunteers: America’s Future Leaders” to create a unique design.  All teens received a shirt with the winning design as a gift from the Auxiliary.  First place was awarded to Ben Nguyen, an upcoming junior at Flowery Branch High School, who has volunteered 45 hours

“Teen Volunteers are essential to the success of the volunteer program and truly demonstrate a willingness to help others by giving so much time and effort to Northeast Georgia Health System,” said Lynne Allen, director of Volunteer Services at NGMC.  “We also appreciate the Teen Program co-chairs, Meg Nivens and Bethany Magnus, for their leadership and service.”

 “According to the National Point of Light volunteer rate, the hours are equivalent to a value of $111,500, however there is no way to fully measure the true value,” said Colston. 

Sixty-two volunteers received awards for completing 30 or more hours of service. Also honored were three teens who gave more than 200 hours of service:  Emily Dufty (200 hours), McNeely Rockwell (300 hours) and Indira Islas (1,000 hours).