On June 7, North Oaks officials oriented 53 teens selected to participate
in the health system's Junior Volunteer summer program.
“Our program offers teens, ages 14-17, a unique opportunity for community
service where they work as a team, learn new skills and can get ideas
for their future career path,” explains North Oaks Volunteer Services
Manager Malissa Gonzalez. The program runs from June 13 to August 5.
Ponchatoula High School senior Andee Poché has given of her time
as a Junior Volunteer every summer since 2013. In her 4 years as a Junior
Volunteer, she has contributed 305 service hours helping out in the Volunteer
Services office, hospital Gift Shop and the Heart Health Services department.
With plans to pursue a career as a chiropractor, Poche has found her North
Oaks volunteer experience helpful in strengthening her interpersonal communications
skills and comfort level with public speaking.
“It’s a great program because you get to meet people from all
walks of life and make a difference for others,” she adds. “This
experience has really helped me grow as a person.”
This year’s Junior Volunteers represent 12 Louisiana high schools
located in Tangipahoa, Livingston and St. Tammany parishes and one high
school in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. They include: Lacie Randall, Rayanne
Ridgel, Nipun Wadhwa—Albany High School; Allie Ferrara, Kerrigan
Hunt, Sarah Labbé—Archbishop Hannan High School; Misty King
of Doyle High School; Brittany Diez—French Settlement High School;
Landon Goings, Madison Harrill, Moesha Felder, Tyra Jones, Garrett Sanders,
Rachel Schnadelbach, Dereka Sylve, Layla Taylor—Hammond High Magnet
School; Samantha McNeal—Holden High School; Samantha Barrera, Leah
Benfield, Virginia Cervantes, Elisabeth Dunnington, Abigail Saba, Kaylyn
Treadway—Loranger High School; Sara Calamia, Sarah Gordon—Oak
Forest Academy; Presley Brents, Kelly Caro, Alayna Chelette, Catherine
Dahmer, Luke Daniels, Sarah Haltom, Emma Huszar, Peyton LeSaicherre, Mia
Maillet, Dustin Motichek, Sophia Nuzzolillo, Jourdan Olmstead, Sklyar
Pete, Andee Poché, Kasslyn Pugh, Lydia Stegall, Olivia Thornton,
Blair Vignes, Belle Vignes—Ponchatoula High School; Tanner Booth—St.
Stanislaus High School; Katie Amos, Logan Lucas, Kashish Wadhwa—St.
Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School; Hailey Penton—Springfield
High School; and Abi Creel, Sophia Charoenpap, Cassie Robinson—Walker
Freshman High School.
For more information on volunteer opportunities for teens, students and
adults, call North Oaks Volunteer Services at (985) 230-6811 or
Above left is Dustin Motichek of Ponchatoula High School.
Above right are Catherine Dahmer and Mia Maillet of Ponchatoula High School.