By Nancy Gay
One hundred local teenagers will have a pretty amazing answer this fall when they are asked about their summer vacation. That’s because they are participating in Moffitt’s Summer VolunTeen program, a service-based initiative at Moffitt Cancer Center. Each teen will volunteer one day a week, in two different areas, for nine weeks.
Dozens of departments participated in a VolunTeen orientation fair in June explaining their role within Moffitt and the volunteer opportunities that exist. After learning more about the areas, the VolunTeens rank the order of their assignment preferences.
For Genesis Monterroso, who’s always been fascinated by medicine, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. She watched her aunt lose a battle with cancer and participates in Moffitt’s Big Brothers Big Sisters School to Work program, where she shadows team member Elizabeth Fuentes in Organizational Development once a month. She wants to become a cardiac surgeon, and volunteering in the pathology, radiology and BMT units tops her list.
In between taking online classes and volunteering at Hospice, Aditya Nair has his sights set on volunteering in Moffitt’s CEO and Administrative Office this summer. Though his mother is a registered nurse advisor at Moffitt, Aditya plans on pursuing a career outside of medicine and is excited about the opportunity to see the administrative side of the hospital.
Like Aditya, Tre Harrison was pleased to see nonclinical departments at the VolunTeen orientation. The recent Wharton High School graduate is majoring in economics at Bethune-Cookman University in the fall and ranked Finance and Revenue Cycle at the top of his preferred places to volunteer.
VolunTeens will have the opportunity to assist with tasks such as transporting patients, assisting with clerical duties, stocking supplies, assembling patient packets and visiting with waiting patients. They fill a crucial gap in the summer months when adult, full-time volunteers take well-deserved time off to travel and relax.
Approximately 600 teenagers applied to the VolunTeen program, which is open to the community, as well as children of Moffitt team members.