Care Partner Volunteer Summary CMC Mercy Hospital prioritizes holistic healing as central to its identity As such CMC Mercy offers massages music therapy pet therapy herbal therapy and many other services free of charge to its patients Two nights a week I spoke to new patients and or their families to educate them about CMC Mercy s services and then helped them schedule these services I also spoke to patients who already received treatment in order to gather feedback and better understand the organization s offerings Meaningfulness I began volunteering at CMC Mercy by educating patients about its many services however my knowledge about these services was initially limited to pamphlets Since I had never spent time there as a patient I had a limited understanding of the services most patients asked me about In order to better educate myself future volunteers and patients I began following up with some patients to inquire about their experiences with these services These follow up conversations often developed into something very personal and memorable Patients discussed their hopes and fears with me everything from their childhood to their work life to their families The honesty vulnerability and humility I felt in my conversations with patients contrasted starkly with the conversations I was having while working in corporate America just hours earlier
The time I spent as a volunteer educating patients about therapy options that could ease their recovery felt far more meaningful than the hours I spent in my morning meetings The fulfillment I felt in the hospital coupled with the desire to improve people's lives solidified my decision to pursue medicine Project Downtown Durham I volunteered at Project Downtown Durham a student run soup kitchen by helping prepare and distribute meals to Durham s underserved population I did this roughly twice a month for all four years of my undergraduate education At these events medical and dental students often led educational seminars and answered individuals personal health related questions After a year of volunteering I became coordinator of Project Downtown Durham a position I held for two years In this position my responsibilities included fundraising for meals recruiting different student organizations to volunteer at the events and working with community partners to select food distribution sites Meaningfulness When I first drove into Durham with the organization I immediately recognized the stark contrast between the ornate landscaping of UNC Chapel Hill and the unkempt backdrop of the disadvantaged parts of Durham Project Downtown Durham soon became an important part of my schedule Serving meals helped me build fulfilling relationships and the stories I heard from Durham s underserved were humbling
From there we created a product prototype named Floosi aimed at increasing financial inclusion through mobile banking in low resource nations We were selected to the Hult Prize regional final to compete for 1 000 000 in seed capital while being mentored by business leaders in the Research Triangle Park Meaningfulness After developing a prototype my colleagues and I were confident that our product had the potential to benefit many low income individuals by counteracting the low financial inclusion that drives poverty in low resource nations Then the Hult Prize invited us to be a part of their Regional Finals in San Francisco We believed our idea was perfect We wanted to show everyone how Floosi could change the world But after multiple pitches investors decided the markets in which we hoped to enter our product were in such economically unstable regions that an investment in our product was too risky Needless to say we were devastated I initially had difficulty accepting the judges feedback on a project I invested so much time and energy in After months of adjustments and similar feedback from other investors we also began to recognize that our product was unable to adequately solve the problem we hoped it could My time at Floosi taught me about communicating effectively promoting ideas and encouraging teamwork However more than anything it taught me resilience Being fully committed to a project and watching it crumble was a humbling experience Forcing myself to reflect on what I learned from the failure rather than the failure itself was a hard but deeply valuable lesson I will take forward
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