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Spirit of service

Marietta teen gives back through hospital volunteering

Photo provided Pellett will attend Ohio University in the fall.

Born and raised in Marietta, 18-year-old America Pellett was fittingly born on Election Day.

Today, she is a recent Marietta High School graduate who is set to attend Ohio University in the fall to study pre-medicine after falling in love with the healthcare field through her participation as a youth volunteer at Marietta Memorial Hospital.

“I really wanted to see what it was like working in a hospital,” Pellett said. “This was just a way to kind of introduce myself to this environment and see if it was right for me, and I think it’s a good fit.”

Pellett learned from her mother, who is a medical assistant in the Urology Department at Marietta Memorial Hospital, about the program and instantly knew she wanted to be a part of it.

“She’s volunteering five days a week,” Cindy Hall, the volunteer services and event coordinator for Marietta Memorial, said. “Not many teens do that. I am very blessed to have America and the staff cannot say enough about her. She is a real go-getter.”

Photo provided Pellett was a member of the Color Guard at Marietta High School for three years.

The youth volunteer program’s summer component requires a minimum of 50 hours of service and attendance to five out of the eight available “Lunch and Learns,” which are opportunities for volunteers to hear from speakers about different departments within the system and their positions and responsibilities.

“I wanted to have the youth be able to have an opportunity to come into the healthcare environment to get exposure and healthcare experience,” Hall said. “This gives them the opportunity to check it all out and see what’s best for them.”

Pellett has achieved over 100 hours of service within the last month. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, she helps transport patients. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, she is volunteering in the Emergency Department.

“I love the ER, it’s chaotic,” Pellett said. “There is a lot of interesting stuff that comes through and it’s really fast paced, and I like that.”

Pellett’s duties include making sure rooms are stocked, offering patients blankets, helping direct people around the hospital, helping to deliver food to offices and sanitizing the lobby.

Photo provided America works as a youth volunteer to bring brightness to the days of patients and their families.

“There is just this sense that I am helping people feel better, people who are sick or lonely or grieving,” Pellett said. “I am good at helping people when they are down.”

Pellett also works in the coffee shop at the hospital and enjoys that aspect of service as well.

“I have been really proud that I have overcome the more introverted side of my personality, just in passing I am really quiet,” Pellett said. “I am just glad I am able to do this and it is really bringing me out of my shell.”

At Marietta High School, Pellett was a member of the Color Guard for three years and enjoyed the experience. She took AP and college classes and graduated with a 3.6 unweighted grade point average.

Pellett has been awarded multiple scholarships and grants for her upcoming college career, including a “Bee You” scholarship to raise awareness for bullying through the Marietta Community Foundation and an Academic Excellence Scholarship from Ohio University.

Her family is large and loving, with her being the second oldest of six children and two cats and two dogs roaming their household. In her free time, she loves to read horror novels and she also loves to write.

“My main idea is going into emergency medicine as a physician,” Pellett said as she reflected on her future aspirations. “I really like that environment…there is just so much to do all the time and I love that.”

She also expressed her potential interest in surgery after having experience touring an operating room through volunteering.

“I love seeing them grow and become what they wanted to do in their career,” Hall said in regard to her volunteers. “They are giving back to the community and learning new skills and making new friendships.”

Pellett feels her experiences through volunteering at Marietta Memorial have immensely helped her grow.

Photo by Jenna Pierson America Pellett, right, stands with Volunteer Services and Event Coordinator Cindy Hall, right.

“It (the volunteering) really comes in handy you know,” Pellett said. “You meet people from all walks of life.”

Jenna Pierson may be reached at jpierson@newsandsentinel.com

About America:

≤ 18-year-old who was born and raised in Marietta

≤ Marietta High School graduate

≤ Volunteers and works at Marietta Memorial Hospital

≤ Attending Ohio University this fall in Athens and wants to be a physician

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