Look to the future: Volunteer work helps inspire career choices

Photo credit: Erin McElroy.McElroy,9 is at Bethesda North volunteering. She enjoyed helping people. Her interest in a career shifted to the medical field due to her service.
Erin McElroy, 9 is at Bethesda North volunteering. She enjoyed helping people. Her interest in a career shifted to the medical field due to her service. Photo courtesy of Erin McElroy.

Colleges look for an all-around good student. Volunteering may boost a student from a good student to a well-rounded one.

“Colleges look for well-rounded students. Volunteering makes them a well-rounded student,” said Mrs. Brenda Fisher, student assistance counselor.

Those service hours can come from tutoring to working in a soup kitchen to being in a school club. A résumé can be filled with these activities which could lead to a National Honor Society (NHS) induction.

“We look for positive characters in applications,” said Mrs. Valerie Nimeskern, co-advisor of NHS.

If volunteering gets a student to a prestigious college, higher education may get a high-paying or dream job. The dream job could have been influenced by service to the community.

All of these occupations have one thing in common, service to others.

This is the case for Erin McElroy, 9.

“I have volunteered at Bethesda North Hospital since May and I have collected 90 hours so far,” said McElroy. “I have been an escort, worked on floor 5300 and helped at the daycare center at the Pavilion.”

She got to interact with many great men and women with jobs that spark an interest.

“It allowed me to see many different jobs in the field of medicine and nursing. This allows me to test out different jobs. I like the hospital environment and I am now thinking about jobs in it,” said McElroy.

“One that looks especially fun is a pharmacist. Volunteering in the hospital allowed me to experience being in the pharmacy. I wanted to be a teacher but my experience has changed my thoughts,” said McElroy.

Volunteering changed one girl’s outlook on her future, and it can change another’s.