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May 21, 2008 > Student volunteers recognized

Student volunteers recognized

Teenage years are filled with conflicting emotions and responsibilities - home, school, friends, career choices - that can be exhilarating and terrifying, all at the same time. In the midst of this chaotic environment, many young adults find the extra energy and time required to assist others as well. Community organizations often welcome and rely on volunteers - young and old - who fill personnel gaps, elevating service to levels that would be impossible without their help.

On Wednesday, April 30, Kaiser Permanente personnel took time from busy schedules to honor five high school students who have made a significant difference in volunteer programs at the Fremont and Hayward facilities. Rena Cota, Manager of Volunteer Services at Hayward and Amy Choy-Kwan, Manager of Volunteer Services at Fremont spoke of the inspiration that young volunteers provide for the future of healthcare. The promise of early volunteer activities is that it will "blossom into a lifelong commitment to community service," said Choy-Kwan. She also noted that "volunteers are an amazing group of people who unconditionally donate their time and talents to help others and provde that special touch to the service we provide to our members."

Recipient Lisa Cao of John F. Kennedy High School, who aspires to become a pediatrician, says that she volunteered "as my way of giving back" after her father was a patient at a Kaiser facility. She notes that when she talks with others at her school, they too become interested in volunteer opportunities. Her mom, Helen, who attended the ceremonies, said that Lisa has become "more mature" due to her volunteer work.

Student Achievement Award recipients include: Lisa Cao, John F. Kennedy High School (Fremont); Natasha Chan, St. Francis High School; Cynthia Gaw, Mission San Jose High School (Fremont); Melissa Maykin, American High School (Fremont); Marjan Rajari, James Logan High School (Union City).

During the ceremonies, Choy-Kwan noted that volunteers of all ages, especially adults, are always needed at Kaiser healthcare facilities. "We are looking for adult volunteers who have a strong desire to help where they can and a willingness to serve where they are most needed." To download a volunteer application for Hayward or Fremont Volunteer Services, visit

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