My Service To America This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The United States of America is acclaimed for its resources and opportunities. In Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, no better example of this can be found than at University City. Here, among the University of Pennsylvania, is the home of three prestigious institutions: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the Veteran's Administration Hospital and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Each offers limitless opportunities to experience the true spirit of volunteerism.

For the past two years I have volunteered at Children's Hospital. My position has given me an opportunity to experience a myriad of career options, from a desk in the administrative offices, helping in the laboratory to the bedsides of critically ill children.

As an administrative aide I observed the business side of a hospital. The vast number of people needed to run this organization is extraordinary. I was able to understand how important each individual's part is to the operation of the organization as a whole.

I became part of the crucial system as a laboratory technician assistant. While cataloging samples and running lab errands, I participated in the daily activities of a fast-paced laboratory. The regiment of the lab provided order and direction necessary for the efficient handling of hundreds of samples. Volunteering in this department allowed me to understand that time is a valuable commodity.

I was most enriched by my work as a child life specialist volunteer. The humanity I provided through patient interaction removed fear from the unfamiliar environment the children were in. I represented normalcy and a non-medical haven. In touching them I have grown with a sense of being and worth.

In retrospect I realize these institutions, in their own rights, are the American experience. Two hundred years of freedom in this country has allowed them to develop to a point unparalleled in the world. My volunteerism, however minor, has left me enriched.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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