In addition to providing experience in a health-care setting for a teen with dreams of becoming a family doctor, Mercy Volunteer Services has also given Anjali Ta an outlet for her skills in writing and music, too.
Jackson High School sophomore Anjali Ta hopes to someday be a family medicine physician. Looking for ways to move ahead with her goal, she decided volunteering in a health-care environment would be one way to get good experience.
However, when she started searching for volunteer positions in Stark County, she was disappointed by the quality of her options.
“I learned that if you’re a high school student looking for volunteer work, there is no shortage of openings — but most are in a business office setting,” says Anjali. “I wanted to see and do more than file paperwork.”
When Anjali contact Mercy Volunteer Services, she was pleasantly surprised by the choices available through the Mercy Teen T.A.G. (Together Achieving Greatness) program. This past month, she completed her nursing-unit training and began making rounds with the comfort cart, which allows her to meet patients, family members and visitors and give them items intended to make them feel more comfortable.
Taking things a step further, Mercy has also offered Anjali an outlet for other interests, including writing and music.
“Anjali has many talents,” says Stephanie Williams, manager, volunteer services. “With her writing skills and involvement on a diversity committee at Jackson High School, we’re having her write articles for Tapestry, our in-house diversity newsletter. Plus, she will play keyboard for the Mercy Regional Rehabilitation Unit as part of our Healing Harmonies initiative for volunteer musicians.”
Anjali says her interest in writing began with her eighth-grade English teacher, who noticed her skills and encouraged her to find more opportunities to write. In addition, she started taking piano lessons six years ago and, until now, has only played for her own enjoyment.
“I like the topic of Tapestry because it fits well with my work as secretary of Student Culture Council, a group that strives to encourage appreciation of different cultures and backgrounds,” Anjali says. “I also love playing the piano. Now, for the first time, I can use both of these skills to help and encourage people. The volunteer options at Mercy are amazing, and I appreciate the caring attitude I sense from the hospital staff.”