LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - It's summertime which usually means kids are outside swimming or hanging out with friends. But some local teenagers have decided to volunteer and help others during their summer vacation. It's through a program called volunteens, at Comanche County Memorial Hospital.
During the 8-week program, the teens are exposed to many aspects of health care, giving them the opportunity to work hands on in an area of the hospital they're interested in.
This is Andrew Celedon's third year as a volunteen. He says he had a scare two years ago with his dermatologist. That, combined with his family history of skin cancer, is what got him interested in the program in the first place; giving him a closer look into the medical field and cancer research.
"I feel like if I become a physician, then I can kind of offer and guide the young people to have more of a healthier lifestyle for cancer prevention,
Summer Hurleyjacks is the assistant coordinator of the Healthy Living Program for CCMH, and used to be a volunteen. She says in the program students really get a realistic view of the workplace, while enhancing their skills.
"It was a great opportunity to figure out what I like and what I didn't like,” says Summer Hurleyjacks, a former volunteen who now works for the hospital. “A lot of people were saying to me to go be a nurse, that it was a really good field. I learned that nursing was a wonderful opportunity, but not the right fit for me. I think that is a wonderful opportunity when you're a volunteen, especially as you're going into college. Like what works for me and what doesn't work for me."
Most of the teens volunteer 2 to 3 days a week in areas such as surgicare, the ER, Human resources, physician's offices, and many others. Celedon and Hurleyjacks agree the program is worth the time and makes you a better person.
"It really gives you insight on to what the medical field is about and how the hospital operates. So I just say do it while you can," says Celedon.
"Do it. If at all possible, even if you can do just 1 day a week out of the summer,” says Hurleyjacks. “It's not a huge commitment. You can be a part of it and get involved. If you do have more time that's great."
By the time the program is over at the end of July, the students will have racked up over 3000 service hours that can go toward honor roll in school.