A spirit of voluntarism and love of community were the building blocks of Crouse Hospital, way back in 1887. And more than a century later, that same spirit can be seen in action around the hospital each day.
Summer is special, since that’s when we welcome a new corps of high school students to Crouse. This year we’ve welcomed a record number: One-hundred-twenty-three students from across Onondaga County have chosen to spend their summer days giving back to their community — plus learning about life and meeting new friends. Forty volunteers are returning and 83 are new; many have participated in the hospital's Choices Program.
Back in the day, these young helpers were known as “candy stripers,” an idea that originated as a high-school civics class project in East Orange, New Jersey, in 1944. The uniforms were sewn by the girls in the class from material provided by the teacher - a red-and-white-striped fabric.
These days the students can be identified by their bright, teal-colored polo shirts with the “Junior Volunteer” emblem. Pictured here is Joelle Beaulieu, a 15-year-old Jamesville Dewitt High School student, who started her first Junior Volunteer experience this week. Watch for our roster of student names with the schools they attend, plus profiles and comments from the students about their experiences at Crouse this summer.
“I want to be a hospitalist, and I figured it would be good for me to start being in a hospital environment,” says Joelle. Her first assignment is in Patient Transport, where year-round volunteers Carl Sweeney, left, and Don Murphy are showing her the ropes.
The Crouse Junior Volunteer program has been coordinated by Richard Scott since 2001, and its ranks have increased each year since. Dick spent 30 years as a teacher and coach in the Syracuse City School District — twenty-one years as an English teacher and varsity coach at Fowler High School and nine years previously at Blodgett Elementary.
Students are assigned to all areas of the hospital, and this summer, some of them will even share their musical talents in the Crouse Serenades program, an initiative of our Healing Environment Committee, which brings live music to patients and their families.
Interested in becoming a Junior Volunteer? Please call Richard Scott at 315/470-2757.
A member of the media interested in covering? Please call Cheryl Abrams at 315/470-7123.