Friday, July 30, 2010

CCHI Youth Programs show appreciation to volunteers

The value of volunteers: CCHI Youth Programs staff members with MGH volunteers at the June 29 event

The MGH Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI) Youth Programs hosted an event at the Holiday Inn June 29 to thank the MGH employees who have volunteered their time to encourage and inspire the 350 students in its programs. More than 300 MGH employees participated last year as science fair mentors, science fair judges, job shadow hosts, internship supervisors, mentors, tutors and guest speakers, among other roles. The time commitments vary, but the results are the same: each volunteer makes a difference in a young person's life.

"It's great to be in the community and helping these kids," said Aileen Shen, a clinical research coordinator for MGH Pediatric Research who attended the appreciation event. "They are the future generation of health care."

Tywanda Coston, an intern in the Endocrine Unit, was the event's keynote speaker and an example of the effect Youth Programs volunteers can have. Coston began interning at the MGH through ProTech, a 20-month internship program that provides work-based career exploration and preparation for high school juniors and seniors.

"I've met some extraordinary people at this hospital," she said. "They have supported me in so many ways and inspired me to follow my dreams."

Coston, who will attend Virginia State University this fall, is the first member of her family to attend college. The mission of CCHI's Youth Programs is to provide youth in grades 3 through 12 with academic, life and career skills that expand and enhance their educational and career options. Students are able to engage in enrichment opportunities, career exploration and mentorship relationships connected to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

For more information on Youth Programs volunteer opportunities, contact Joan McCarthy, youth programs administrator, at 617-724-3210 or

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