Volunteer Recognition Week Profile: Heather LaClare

Heather LaClare Heather LaClare

Where do you volunteer, and how long have you been volunteering?

I started out with Children’s in the Child Life Volunteer Exposure Experience in January 2010, which focused on the role of child life specialists.  I have continued to volunteer since that time, and am mostly volunteering in inpatient rooms.

What is your educational background & future career interest?

I am a senior at Hamline University, graduating in May.  I’m a psychology and sociology double major.  I’ve always known that I wanted to work with children and families dealing with chronic illness, particularly in a pediatric hospital setting.  I will be attending the University of St. Catherine/University of St. Thomas joint Masters in Social Work program in the fall.

What first brought you to Children’s as a volunteer?

I decided to volunteer because of my interest in working in the medical field, particularly with the psychosocial functioning aspect (child life, social work, etc.).  I personally was a patient at Children’s for 18+ years, and wanted to give back and make a difference.  I remembered that, as a young patient, a nurse played Barbies with me at 3 in the morning-I reflect on that time now and appreciate her going out of her way to do so.  As a volunteer, I can be that person.

What kinds of things do you enjoy doing when you’re not volunteering?

I love reading, and getting into a good book.  During the summer, you can find me camping at Minnesota state parks with my family & golden retriever named Summer.  I enjoy going to Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) to watch cars drag-racing (I will hopefully get to race some this summer)!  I also love getting into TV shows; my favorites are Dexter, Nikita, 24, Off the Map, Ellen DeGeneres, and more!

What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

I love making kids smile by acting goofy!  Even though we don’t spend a ton of time with these special kiddos, I feel like I’m making a difference in their life at that moment, and that difference might last a lifetime.

Thank you, Heather, for the difference that you make here at Children’s every day!  A note to our readers:  Heather has graciously offered to contribute during this coming school year as a “guest blogger” to highlight her journey into clinical social work!  Please check back for more of her writings in the future!

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