Local Teens Spend Summer Serving Others at St. Joseph’s Hospitals

June 18, 2014

Tampa, Fla. (June 18, 2014) - As the daughter of a security guard at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, Ginelle Bonnelly is familiar with the campus, but she’s seeing the facility in a new light this summer as she escorts patients and families, assists in the administration office and goes behind the scenes of the imaging and surgery departments.

     Bonnelly is a junior at Gaither High School and is one of 161 Volunteens at St. Joseph’s Hospitals this summer. The Volunteen program is open to students, ages 15-18, who maintain a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0. The teens must also commit to volunteering at least one 4-hour shift per week, 8 out of 10 weeks of summer. Since many students need volunteer service hours to graduate and apply for scholarships, the Volunteen program fills up quickly.

     Teenagers can volunteer in 45 different departments throughout St. Joseph’s Hospitals; assignments are based on the needs and wants of each area. Alonso High School Senior Carla Garcia is grateful St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital selected her to volunteer for the second summer in a row. She hopes to pursue a career in pediatrics and enjoys assisting the mothers and nurses.

     St. Joseph’s Hospitals has hundreds of adult volunteers generously donating their time throughout the year, but only teenagers who volunteered during the summer can volunteer during the school year.

     “Teens and adults working side by side is a great experience for both. Teens bring with them an energy and enthusiasm that inspires all ages, “said Judi Roberts, Manager of Volunteer Resources. “ Our adult volunteers take them under wing and make them part of the team. What they all have in common, regardless of age, is giving their time, energy and experience to improve patient experience.”

     In addition to volunteering at the hospital, many of the Volunteens are working at summer jobs, taking online courses, playing sports and spending time with their friends. As for Bonnelley, she hopes to go into the nursing field and has already begun the process of recruiting her friends to join her in the Volunteen program next summer.

    To learn more about the program or speak with a Volunteen please call (813) 554-8216.