Incoming Medical Science students serve others first on Volunteer Day

By Alex Branch

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More than 200 incoming students in the Medical Science program were introduced to the UNTHSC core value of Serving Others First by volunteering in the community May 25.

The students sanded staircase railings and door frames at the Salvation Army in preparation for repainting the living areas of men and women in transitional housing programs. They stocked the Tarrant Area Food Bank pantry with food for families in need. They read books to children and threw an ice cream social at Fort Worth elementary schools.

They also hosted a Veteran’s Day celebration at Samaritan House and pulled weeds and put down mulch at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

What does all this have to do with earning a master’s degree in medical science, a program that helps students enhance their credentials for entry into medical, dental, physician assistant studies or other health professions schools?

“One reason I chose the Health Science Center and the medical science program is because of its values – and because it puts community first,” said Kailey Stiles, an incoming student from Burleson. “We’ve only been on campus for three days now, and it’s really cool that we are already putting these values into action by getting out and doing something to improve our community.”

This is the third year incoming students have participated in the volunteer day, said Carla Lee Johnson, Director for Student Success in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The activities encourage team building and help the students get to know one another. The volunteer sites were coordinated by Leslie Casey, Senior Director of Community and Alumni Relations.

Officials at the sites where students volunteered said they were overjoyed by the assistance. At the Salvation Army, workers had long wanted to repaint the “wear and tear” that is the result of serving so many people, but they lacked the resources.

“So this is perfect,” said Tanya Charles, Salvation Army Administrative Coordinator. “They are working hard, and it’s going to make a big difference to our clients that we help.”

In a stairwell, incoming student Baseme Osuamkpe from Houston wore a dust mask and sanded a railing that led up the stairs to Salvation Army resident living quarters. She said the incoming class had spent time together talking about leadership.

“We hope to set example by getting out and giving back to others,” she said.

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