FORT SILL, Okla.-- The American Red Cross held a youth volunteer recognition ceremony Aug. 8 in Reynolds Army Community Hospital to celebrate the teens who have volunteered over the summer in various positions.

Volunteers, family, station staff and advisory council members were present when each teen volunteer received a certificate with the amount of hours they worked. All of the teens in this year's program worked a combined total of 950.25 hours almost 40 days straight of volunteering. Volunteer jobs for the teens included everything from making phone calls and watching children to filing paperwork and assisting staff.

Laurel Christiansen received her certificate for 126.15 hours of volunteer work and plans on becoming a doctor in the future.

"I really enjoyed volunteering. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about how the hospital works," said Christiansen.

Kayla Johnson, who completed 81.5 hours, also enjoyed volunteering and hopes to become a doctor.

"I worked with children and I want to be a pediatrician, so I got a lot of experience," said Johnson. "I got to help sick children get better, and that's what I want to do when I get older."

The staff of the program were very proud of the teens and their accomplishments and hope the program is even stronger next year.

"It's our hope that you had a positive experience this summer and that you return next year. For those of you going on to college next summer or if your parents are PCSing to a new post, we hope you continue to seek out new opportunities wherever you are in the future," said Rob Rogers, the station manager for the program. "There will always be a humanitarian need wherever you go."

Col. Jennifer Bedick, RACH commander, talked to the teens and thanked them for all of their time. She described the program later as an opportunity to get that "volunteer spirit."

"The teens get the time to spend doing some work hours in any multitude of different things. One of the ones we do here in the hospital is to allow them a window into the medical field. They find out if they want to go into the medical field or not," said Bedick.

"It also presents a lot of opportunities for us to have those volunteers there. It kind of showcases some young, great teens. It helps us out with some things we don't always get done on time, and helps us with some of the little bits of work. We try and allow them access to things so they get that opportunity to see what the healthcare field is all about," she said. "We have about a 50 percent return rate of volunteers."

For more information on how teens can sign up for volunteer opportunities, call Rogers at 442-3950.