After taking Psychology 3313 and Neuroscience 3000 and genuinely enjoying them, I decided to become a tutor for these two classes through an honorary called Nu Rho Psi. I started this at the beginning of my second year, and have been doing it ever since. Not only is this a great way to keep up with my basic Neuroscience knowledge, but it is also a great way to meet new people within and out of the Neuroscience major. The tutoring is set up in a group style, where students are free to come and go as they please and ask any questions they may have from each week’s lectures. There are usually about 4 tutors in the room, which allows for smaller groups to be formed to review the material. Some students who need extra practice will stay and we will review the lectures slide by slide, really trying to emphasize the important parts. We also have created a bank of questions and outlines for each chapter for both classes. On the weeks of exams, we use this question bank to quiz the students which is a great way for them to see where they are at. The students that I am tutoring are typically younger than me, but there are some students who have been the same age or even older than me. The age range has not only allowed me to share my knowledge about life at OSU and certain classes, but also to receive great advice from fellow tutors and students who have had different experiences than me at OSU. I enjoy being able to use my knowledge to help other people excel, and tutoring has been the perfect way to do this.
Thanks to the STEP program, I was able to travel to Ho, Ghana for a service-learning trip through Cross Cultural Solutions. This was such an incredible experience that I expanded on in a reflection in the following link. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity, and I truly feel like it changed my perspective on certain aspects of life.
I began volunteering at Nationwide Children’s in October of 2017, and it has truly been an incredible experience. I am assigned to a floor in which I go around and hang out with the kids who could use some extra attention. My floor includes a wide range of illnesses, from mental illness such as eating disorders and depression to babies with respiratory infections. My floor also includes the rehabilitation unit. What I do each time I go in truly varies based on the needs of the day. Sometimes, I spend the whole time playing with and comforting infants whose family members were not able to make it in that day. Other days, I hang out with toddlers or young children to give their parents a little bit of a break to go eat something or make some phone calls. The most important part of my position is making sure that every patient has some attention and is able to have a fun time despite the situation they are currently in. One of the experiences that has touched me the most was when I hung out with a young boy in the rehab unit who wasn’t vocal. Although there was an obvious barrier for communication, we were able to communicate in other ways such as hand motions and facial expressions. I felt as though I was able to make a real connection with him even though it was not through the traditional route of talking. Another experience that has stuck with me was also in the rehab unit, where I spent most of my shift walking around the floor with a little boy in a wheel chair. He was full of energy and so happy to be out and about. My experience at Nationwide Children’s has been an incredible one, and I look forward to the connections that I will continue to make with the patients and the nurses.
In the fall of 2017, Buckeyes Against Alzheimer’s put on a senior prom for the residents of the Inn at Olentangy Trail. As a member of the board, we worked together to plan the best prom that we could. We decided to make the theme a masquerade, and had our members help to make masks for the students and residents. We invited the families of the residents, and worked with the staff at the Inn to make the event as comfortable as possible for the residents. We had a playlist of songs that we thought would be familiar to them, and we brought lots of good food. On the day of the event, we went early to set up and we went all out with the decorations. We had streamers, banners, masquerade themed posters, and LOTS of balloons, which ended up being a hit among the residents as they tried to keep them in the air and occasionally hit them right at the students with mischievous grins on their faces. We had the opportunity to talk to the loved ones of many of the residents as well as to watch the residents’ faces light up as they danced and talked to their family members. Overall, we had a great turnout at this event and the smiles on the residents’ faces were enough to prove that the prom was a huge success!
I have always been extremely involved in my church, whether it is working in the nursery during church services or helping with Vacation Bible School. Both of these things have helped develop my leadership skills. When I work in the nursery, I am the primary caretaker of children ages 0-3 years old. I usually have a couple of helpers, but as the most experienced, and typically the oldest, I am usually in charge. It is a part of my job to not only play with the kids and make sure they are having a good time, but to also make sure each child is getting equal attention from me and the other helpers in the nursery. When I volunteer with VBS, I am the leader of a group. This means that I am in charge of a small group of children, and I walk them around to various stations and make sure they are having a fun time while also learning a lot. I do my best to create a welcoming environment where everyone feels included. Working with kids has always been something that I love. Getting to play childish games and see every single child smile ear to ear when their favorite song comes on, or when they are picked for duck-duck-goose is an experience like no other. Children are the future, and being able to play a part in their development is a great feeling.
This year, I participated in BuckeyeThon for the first time. I have never felt so humbled to be a part of something in my entire life. Spending 12 hours on your feet, dancing and raising money for kids with cancer will really put things into perspective. While I am here, finding my way through college and living my life, there are thousands of children in hospitals fighting for their lives. It is the LEAST I can do to dance for 12 hours in support of them. Throughout the day, I learned the “morale dance,” which is the dance that all of the team leaders show at the beginning. At the end of the marathon, another person from my team and I, along with two people from every other team, performed the dance on stage in front of hundreds of people. This was a thrilling moment, and I was proud to represent my team and dance in support of children who can’t. I was able to personally raise over $1000 for children with cancer thanks to the help of my family and friends. I will never forget the last few minutes of the marathon when the total amount of money raised was revealed and everyone hugged and cheered and cried tears of joy. I have never been more proud to be a Buckeye than in that moment. As someone who possibly wants to become a pediatric oncologist, this event inspired me to continue to work hard and achieve my goals FOR THE KIDS.
I have been volunteering at The Inn at Olentangy Trail, a nursing home, in the dementia unit since the fall of 2016. On Sunday mornings, I and several others go to the nursing home and mingle with the residents. We do anything from doing puzzles, painting nails, and playing with a beach ball to just sitting and talking. Seeing the residents faces light up when we come in is a feeling that will never get old. Although many of the residents may not remember us, it is still just as rewarding to watch them smile as they complete a puzzle or celebrate as they successfully hit the beach ball back to us. Before we leave, we always help serve lunch and clean up afterwards. I have met some incredible people through volunteering here, and I hope to continue going for as long as I am able to.
I started volunteering at Riverside Hospital in 2016. In such a short time, this experience has shaped me in a way that I did not know was possible. I have been working as a greeter at the main entrance of the hospital, where I engage with the families of patients and answer any questions they may have. I walk patients and their families where they need to be, while providing a friendly and welcoming environment. Occasionally, I deliver flowers to patients rooms, which always makes me smile. This experience has not only helped change my perspective on everyday life, but also introduced me to some incredible people. I volunteer every Wednesday morning with two amazing elderly, but not so elderly in spirit, men. I have become close with both of these men, and they have both offered me some great advice, as well as words of encouragement when I need them. Listening to them talk about life gives me great hope for the future, and watching their kindness in action gives me great hope for humanity. Interacting with my fellow volunteers and with patients and their families has made me realize how important it is to be present in the moment and to appreciate the little things in life. Many of the patients that I work with have had life altering circumstances occur at Riverside, whether it be a medical emergency or the loss of a loved one, in the blink of an eye. Seeing this has helped me appreciate how fortunate I am, and has helped me be thankful for everyone in my life and every single day that I am living.