January 7, 2020

Jacqueline Grifith

I was a camp counselor at a bereavement camp Delaware Hospice provided for children who had lost loved ones in the past year. Some of the children in attendance had lost relatives and friends within the few weeks before camp. I was intimidated by the thought of this camp at first. I had been trained how to console people in their time of grief but, these were children. I had never been in a situation like that before. Then, I realized that I kept putting myself into the equation and I felt selfish. I had never experienced a loss so extreme. Several children at Camp New Hope had lost both parents. I then thought, this camp was not about me, it was about the kids. I was able to put my feelings aside and help a wonderful group of children. It was life changing. I was a counselor for a young group of girls and they were the most inspiring and talented kids I had ever met. It was hard leaving them at the end of camp but, the girls made my summer the best of my life. In the end, I think they taught me more than I could have ever taught them. These kids helped fuel my ambition to become a physician assistant. It taught me humility, compassion, strength, and love. These characteristics are found in a great leader. I know that I will carry the lessons I learned from this experience with me for the rest of my life. In order to ensure that others could also learn from my experiences and soon there own, I created a committee that recruits Delaware Hospice volunteers with my high school National Honor Society chapter. I have been able to touch the hearts of so many people through Delaware Hospice. My experiences with this organization have shaped me as a person. I understand now that life should never be taken for granted and that you should cherish every moment of everyday. Also, I take comfort in the fact that I know I am blessed in my life. I hope to be able to spread my good fortune to others live. My volunteer work with Hospice taught me to grow as a person and I am very grateful to have been a part of such a worth while organization. This experience taught me skills that are vital in being a leader and also how to be the best person I can be.

I am pursuing a biology degree at East Carolina University, this coming fall. I have been accepted into their Biology Pre-Physician Assistant program, one of their most distinguished degree programs. I feel as though my high school experience has thoroughly prepared me for this undertaking.

I currently volunteer with Delaware Hospice Inc. and act as a liaison in order to recruit volunteers from the National Honor Society at my school. In order to do so, I created and chair a committee called the NHS Delaware Hospice committee. Our committee members become full fledged hospice volunteers and complete tasks hospice requires of us. We recruit volunteers, assist in the application and training process, help set up and run events; and this summer, we will be volunteering at a program called Camp New Hope. This program is a bereavement camp that helps children, who have suffered a loss in the past year, learn to grieve in a healthy way. I was a camp counselor this last year and was so inspired by the program; I decided to create the NHS committee at my school.

When I am not working with hospice, I volunteer with the Interact, Amnesty, and Jefferson Award clubs at my school. I just recently underwent training with the Americorps to become a mentor. My volunteer experiences are what truly inspired me to go into medicine. I have worked with local PTOs, animal shelters, was a member of FFA at my school, tutored children in my neighborhood, and etc. My efforts earned me a spot in the 2011 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards conference as a delegate and also a Jefferson Award in 2011.

I believe my experiences have prepared me for my college endeavors. I maintain a modest 95 GPA. My essay is short but, I believe that the work I do is worthwhile and I cannot simply condense my experiences into an essay. All I know is that I wish to continue my studies and community service efforts when I am in college. I am grateful for the memories I gained and the skills I have learned through volunteering and hope I will be able to apply them when I continue my education at East Carolina University.

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