By Natalia Turner and DeSean Valverde, BAMC Public Affairs Youth VolunteersAugust 8, 2019
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Brooke Army Medical Center's Youth Volunteer Program provides teens ages 14 to 17 with military medicine experience.
The program is unique to San Antonio and is sponsored by the San Antonio American Red Cross.
"The partnership [with the American Red Cross] is an offshoot of the commander's community outreach program," said Michael Dulevitz, chief of BAMC's Office of Volunteer Services. "This program enables students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to witness the military and military medicine up close and personal."
Youth volunteers gain valuable experience which can tie in with their future academic and career goals.
"I've talked to a lot of the techs and other staff," said Nathaniel Santos, youth volunteer in the Inpatient Orthopedic Medical/Surgical Ward. "They've recommended routes that I should be taking or classes I should be taking."
BAMC staff members mentor the volunteers and help provide a memorable learning experience.
"My experience here was very good," said Catherine Clay, youth volunteer at the Provost Marshal Office. "They kept us busy and we learned a lot of new stuff here."
Volunteering at BAMC has helped previous youth volunteers make career decisions.
"We've had quite a few post-program contacts wherein a youth will return to us to say that it was this program that made the difference in their career choices," said Dulevitz. "It was their summer or summers at BAMC that guided them into the military and military medicine or into civilian healthcare focus/role."