I am a senior at Hollins University where I will be graduating this May with a B.S. in biology and a minor in music. I remember as a freshman entering into my first year of college, deep down within I was questioning who I am, what I have to offer, what I be good at, where I ultimately going.
Little did I know that I would about to experience the opportunity of a lifetime. I am a recipient of the Simple Gifts Scholarship Fund, and because of this I have had more opportunities than I could have possibly imagined during the last four years of my undergraduate program. Not only have I been blessed to have my full tuition covered, but also I have be privileged to participate in a number of different compensated internships.
For two summers I had the opportunity to be an intern at the Norman H. Larkins Waste Water Treatment Plant here in the city of Clinton. It was an amazing experience to get to know the wonderful people that work there. However, this year I was able to something very different, but equally enriching.
This summer as I worked with the Volunteer services at Sampson Regional Medical Center (SRMC.) I served in a number of different departments. I had the opportunity to work very closely with the Sampson Home Health office administrators where I acquired some very useful clerical skills and was able to put those to use while assisting the Administration Office with a couple of tasks as well. Lastly, I had the most fulfilling opportunity to operate in the capacity of a singer to offer music therapy to patients.
While at the Sampson Home Health Office I met a hardworking team of individuals. I observed these ladies working at the administrative level take on the highly important roles of managing nursing staff, physical therapists, and nurse aides, billing, and finance, as well as scheduling and maintain relationships with physicians and patients. The seven amazing women that I came to admire and think of dearly were Ms. Michelle, Mrs. Melissa, Mrs. April, Mrs. Sherry, Mrs. Laura, Mrs. Jessica, and Mrs. Ashely. They all made me feel so welcome.
During my time volunteering in the administration office, I met another lovely group of individuals who also work very hard to make SRMC the place that it is and to ensure that it is of great service to the community. Here I met Mr. Shawn (ECO), Mr. Jerry (CFO), Mrs. Morgan, Mrs. Becky, Mrs. Amber, Mrs. Lizzie, Mrs. Jessica, Mrs. Connie, Mrs. Allison, and Mrs. Kay. They were all very kind and welcoming as they allowed me to observe and help in doing certain office tasks. I also grew to be very fond of them as well.
Finally, some of the greatest experiences and encounters of all that I have had this summer was with the patients. On my rounds as I offered to sing for them little did I know that I would have gained so much in the process. While singing to several of the patients I found myself being uplifted and inspired by their ability to engage with me, even thought they were facing such difficult circumstances. Interacting with the patients really taught me a lot. I received priceless advice about life choices from the pursuit of education to the secrets of successful marriage from couples who have withstood the test of time. However, most of all I learned that even when we are faced with the greatest of odds there is still one more smile left to give, one more laugh to release, and still a little more love to share.
I would like to extend my gratitude to Mrs. Judy Naylor, the supervisor in the Volunteer Services department along with her assistants Mrs. Jackie, and Mrs. Linda. My experience this summer with SRMC was filled with nothing less than enriching encounters with so many wonderful people ranging from my friends working in the ER, Mr. Lonnie, Mrs. Barbra, Mrs. Lynn, and Mr. George (volunteer); my friends in the environmental services department, Mrs. Lois, Mrs. Sarah, and Mrs. Consuela; my friends in the dining hall Mrs. Linda, and Mrs. Nikki; my friends at the switchboard Mrs. Virginia, and Mr. Otis; my friend on the third floor Mrs. Carolyn (head nurse); my friends in supply management Mr. Glenn, and Mrs. Kathy; my friend Mr. Derick (Administrative Director), and to Mr. William (mailing).
There are way too many people to list everyone’s name, but I did decide to list a few because I have learned in my own lifetime that sometimes when you remember someone by name it lets them know they are special too. So I hope that the time I had to get to know these people all meant as much to you as it did to me.
Lastly but not least I would like to a very special thanks to three women that have helped to change my life significantly, Mrs. Margaret Turlington, Mrs. Robin Palmer, and Mrs. Anna Peele. These women are three very dear friends of mine that have been very instrumental in guiding me throughout my academic journey, and without them I would not have many of the opportunities and experiences that I have had. I have grown so much as a person, and even though I still have so much more growing to do I can say that the young lady I am today is better, wiser, and stronger than before these doors of opportunity opened up for me four years ago. Please know that I appreciate you, and again thank you.
Camille Monroe, a Simple Gifts recipient, is a graduate of Sampson Early College and is currently a senior at Hollins University.