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Martinsburg VA Medical Center


The Future is Bright

Crowd of youth volunteers stand underneath the VA water tower.

Youth Volunteers pose under the Martinsburg VA Medical Center water tower after celebrating their summer of service.

By Lauren Winebrenner
Monday, August 13, 2018

“The future promise of any nation can be directly measured by the present prospects of its youth” – John F. Kennedy.

This summer over 95 youth volunteers selflessly gave their time and talents to serving Veterans and supporting the VA’s mission at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center (VAMC).

With more than 4,600 hours of service this summer, the youth volunteers contributed their time in the Canteen, Customer Service, Long Term Care, Imaging, Nutrition and Food Service, Recreation Therapy and more!

At the awards ceremony last week, youth volunteers received pins for total number of hours volunteered at the Martinsburg VAMC. The hours are cumulative for all their years of volunteering in the program. After the 50-hour and 100-hour recognition, 12 youth volunteers were recognized for 150 hours, five were recognized for 300 hours and one volunteer received her 500-hour pin.

Special awards were given to those who have demonstrated qualities and skills above their normal requirements, including awards from Veterans Service Organizations and the Voluntary Service Alta Selby Award.

The Alta Selby award is given for exhibiting dependability in service, being an inspiration to Veterans, staff and their peers, making valuable contribution to their service and demonstrating neat appearance. Volunteer Isha Gupta received the award this year, and has more than 150 hours of service since the summer of 2017.

“The best part of the Youth Volunteer program is the fact we have so many kids who come back every summer,” said Terry Stotler, chief of voluntary service. “They really enjoy volunteering with our Veterans, and giving back to their community.”

Voluntary Service arranged something new for the program this year. Having so many youth volunteers who come back every summer, they decided to make twelve of them youth leaders. These leaders were responsible for making rounds to help the other volunteers, arranging assignments and even voting on the youth volunteer award winners.

Youth volunteers show great acts of kindness and have a positive impact on Veteran lives every day. This was the largest youth volunteer class the medical center has ever had. The fact that the program keeps growing proves the future is very bright indeed. 



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