More than 60 applications were received this year, but only 26 were accepted.
The students were assigned to 15 departments throughout the hospital and had a variety of responsibilities, including clerical work, greeting visitors and spending time with senior patients.
The teens were required to commit to a minimum of 30 volunteer hours over the eight-week course of the program. However, several went above and beyond in their service.
Misty Moore, a sophomore from Sumiton Christian High School, completed 96 volunteer hours. Other leaders were Justin Fountain with 66 hours and Chrissy Gosa with 64 hours.
Eighteen-year-old Lawren Lolley participated in the program for the fourth consecutive year. She completed a total of 160 volunteer hours during that time.
Lolley, a graduate of Oakman High School who is currently attending Bevill State Community College, said she learned about the program through an aunt who is employed at WBMC as well as during a job shadowing event several years ago.
During her four summers at WBMC, Lolley gained experience in several different departments, including human resources, emergency and the women’s center.
Lolley, who plans to apply to BSCC’s nursing program in the spring, said she gained several new friends as well as invaluable experience through volunteering. However, there is another reason why she would recommend the program to others.
“I believe that we are put on this earth to help other people, and I think everyone should volunteer,” Lolley said.
Renae McKinney, director of public relations for WBMC, said showing young adults the importance of community service is one of the goals for the program.
“It also helps them with their scholarship applications, and those who are interested in medical careers get some experience to help them decide which part of the field they want to go into,” she said.
McKinney added that several current employees were once teen volunteers.