Volunteer Profile: Annika Johanson

 What would our department do without Annika Johanson?  From covering the desk in the Surgery Family Waiting Room to distributing flyers for Star Studio, she does it all!  Read on to learn more about this amazing young lady, who has already donated 230 hours of service in 2012!

Annika Johanson, hard at work in the Star Studio!


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

“I started volunteering at Children’s in June 2011. Currently, I volunteer on Mondays on the inpatient units and in Star Studio (Bingo), and Tuesdays with Star Studio (Kids’ Clubhouse) and the Surgery Family Waiting Room. Last summer, I volunteered in both the Surgery Family Waiting Room and the Pre-Surgery Program for child life. This past January, I did a little bit of everything for a career exploration credit through my college.”

What is your educational background & future career interest?

“I just received my B.A. in Psychology from Gustavus, and want to become a Child Life Specialist!”

What brought you to Children’s?

My dad is a pediatrician and my mom used to be a pediatric nurse, so, growing up, I was familiar with and felt comfortable in the hospital setting. As I began to consider different pediatric healthcare careers in college (Child Life, in particular), I decided to start volunteering to help myself figure out what direction I should take. I wanted not just to be around kids, but to be with kids – and to do something to help others while also learning more about myself. ”

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

“Outside of volunteering at Children’s, I enjoy painting, origami, cooking/baking, jetskiing, being outdoors, and just spending quality time with my friends and family. During the summer, I love being a nanny to two very awesome little girls!”

What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

“My experience at Children’s has been more than I had ever expected it to be! The best part by far is the kids – being able to make that little connection that makes a big difference, even when you can’t see it right away. I’ve come to understand the value of a simple smile when it seems like everything else in the child’s world is going wrong. I get to be a kid again when I go to Children’s…who could ask for anything more?” :)

Thank you, Annika, for being such an incredible asset to our volunteer program!   We’re lucky to have you!

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