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!