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NEWS | Aug. 8, 2023

BAMC ceremony recognizes 30 teens for volunteer service

By Lori Newman Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs

Brooke Army Medical Center held a ceremony Aug. 4 to recognize 30 teens who volunteered throughout the organization this summer.

Each year the BAMC Summer Youth Program gives youth between the ages 14-18 the opportunity to volunteer in different areas throughout the organization to garner new skills and learn about military healthcare.

Army Col. Andrew Sims, BAMC deputy commanding officer, thanked the teens for their time and wished them well as they prepare for the new school year.

“Your contributions were many and impactful,” Sims said.

Over the past eight weeks the teens worked within 18 departments, logging a total of more than 2,100 hours of service.

“Today we celebrate the contributions that you made while here and the very important lessons we hope that you learned while serving with us, including commitment, dedication, duty, service and direction,” Sims said.

“We selfishly hope that this insight will lead you to a career in military medicine or healthcare on the whole regardless of where you choose to serve,” he added. “Healthcare needs dedicated people for its future, and we hope you can and will step up to fill that need.”

Kenji Ongcheap volunteered in Interventional Radiology.

“One of the primary reasons I wanted to join the youth volunteer program was to give back to the community and particularly our veterans,” Ongcheap said. “My father is an Army veteran, and I understand the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform make every day. By volunteering at BAMC and contributing to the well-being of the patients, I was able to give back to the men and women who serve and have served in our armed forces.”

Ongcheap praised the Interventional Radiology staff.

“The medical staff answered my every question, taught me key medical practices, and provided substantial advice on my pursuit of a medical career,” he said. “These lessons will be invaluable as I begin to pursue my college education and eventually, my medical career. To them, I am immensely grateful.”

Katelin Stickles said she enjoyed her experience working in 3 West. “Everyone was really nice.”

“I wanted to make sure I wanted to be in the medical field,” Stickles said. “I liked all the fun stuff I have been doing.”

Zeliah Torres, who volunteered in the Department of Emergency Medicine, said the program was insightful.

“It showed me the hard work and dedication part of the medical field,” Torres said.

As each youth volunteer was called to the stage to receive their certificate of appreciation BAMC staff cheered and applauded their accomplishment.

“We’d like to thank the staff, students and parents for making this year’s program a successful one yet again,” said Michael Dulevitz, chief of Volunteer Services.

“For almost three decades, BAMC staff has answered the call to train the next generation, and they do so with great results,” Dulevitz added. “In turn, parents seeking to broaden their youths’ horizons, have guided them here to learn and to serve. It is then up to the student to learn all that they can and to recognize the opportunity they’ve been given. Many of our youth are repeat customers and that speaks to the program’s value on the whole.”