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Posted: July 9, 2017 9:26 a.m.

Junior Volunteers gain experience at Piedmont Newton


COVINGTON, Ga. - “The mission of the Junior Volunteer Program is to provide students the opportunity to gain exposure with a hospital environment and to help the community as well,” Andrea Lane, director of the Junior Volunteer Program, said.  

The Junior Volunteer Program accepts 60 applicants out of an estimated 90. The program looks for students from 10th, 11th, or 12th grade who are maintain a B-average. The program is extremely competitive and only students who truly are interested in exploring the healthcare field are accepted. Volunteers are required to complete one four-hour shift per week, over the course of six weeks, to total a minimum of 20 hours of service.

Lane said that the ideal volunteers would be, “Intelligent...motivated students with an interest in healthcare.”

According to Andrea Lane, the Junior Volunteers are comprised of these qualities. These students not only are driven, passionate, and determined, they have found their voice and are using it to serve their community.

One truth rang throughout all of the interviews: These students are passionate about healthcare.

 Whether it be because of an interest in a potential career choice, or the inspiration gifted by a family member, these volunteers not only want to influence their community but also the world around them.

Joy Sharp, an Academy of Liberal Arts at Newton High School (ALANHS) student and a rising junior, works in the outpatient department of the hospital. There she deals with patient access. Her duties consist transporting and leading patients to their perspective vehicles. She aspires to have a career related to the administrative side of the hospital, but still is not sure.

Jada Washington, an upcoming sophomore, found her love for healthcare in her grandmother’s strength. Jada is interested in oncology and pediatrics. She hopes to partake in cancer research and one day find a cure. Washington volunteers in the marketing department where she sorts through newspapers and finds ads regarding healthcare and the hospital  

When asked what she had learned from the program so far, Jada said, “It’s shown me the different areas of the hospital and broadened my perspective on what goes on behind the scenes of the hospital. I’ve learned about HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) and how to properly set up a wheelchair and how to travel through the hospital.”

Zion Milon, an upcoming senior, not only wants to go into the healthcare field, but also wants to take advantage of this local opportunity (Junior Volunteer Program) to gain experience. She works in outpatient nursing. There she stocks drawers and cabinets with medical supplies and cleaning up rooms after patients leave. Milon is interested in orthopedics and emergency medicine. Milon loves being able to, “see the layout of the hospital and the interactions between faculty and patients.”

When asked how the program has impacted her life so far she said that, “It’s more inspiring seeing it firsthand being a doctor. It has made me want to put in the work. Eight years of school is a lot, but the outcome is worth it.”

Ryane Cunningham, an upcoming junior, grew up playing nurse and doctor all of the time. She works in Med Surg (medical-surgical nursing) where she transfers and talks to patients, creates packets, passes ice and answers phones. Cunningham is interested in pursuing nursing. She said that the program, “had given me a feel for the environment and the duties of those in the department. I’ve learned that you have to be patient and communicate.”

Devon Williams, an upcoming junior, wants to pursue a career in the healthcare field and to gain experience. Williams works in the biomed department of the hospital where he fills orders and shadows throughout the hospital. He also deals with call repairs. Williams is interested in biomedical engineering. He describes his experience so far as being, “very informative.” He said that now he is, “more enthusiastic about going into the field.”

Lane said, “When you’re young you have a lot of ideas regarding the hospital. The program will confirm what they want to do or help them to know that this isn’t for them.”

The Junior Volunteer Program has done a phenomenal job with igniting the light within their volunteers. Their passion and drive is evident in how they speak of the role they are playing in their community. Piedmont Newton has already had seven employees return, all having been through the Junior Volunteer Program. When describing how it would be to have these students return to the hospital as a place of employment in the future, Andrea Lane said, “It would be incredible!”



We, at The Covington News, are so proud of the students who are currently volunteering and future applicants. Being in a hospital environment and contributing confirms career choices. It also validates decisions to enter the healthcare field. The Junior Volunteers here in Newton County are destined for great things!

The Junior Volunteer Program began as the 1970s Candy Stripers. A group of women who volunteered, all wanting to pursue nursing. Thirty-six years later, the organization had modernized and become coed. Creating what we know to be today, the Junior Volunteer Program. The program is located at Piedmont Newton, here in Newton County.

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