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First-year medical students serving as volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Alabama (BBBSSA) recently visited Forest Hill Elementary School in Mobile to mentor their Little Brothers and Sisters.
The students have each been assigned Little Brothers and Sisters and regularly make visits to the school to spend time with those they are mentoring. “I visit my Little every Friday afternoon, which gives us an hour to hang out and spend time together, sometimes playing basketball in the gym or visiting the library,” said first-year medical student and Big Brother Josh Ousley. “The time I spend with him hopefully builds a trusting relationship so that he can confide in me during tough times.”
By spending time in the community, the medical students are reminded of the benefits of serving those in need. Malik McMullin, first-year medical student and Big Brother, said that the connection he is making with his Little Brother encourages an interest in math and science, plus an early interest in pursuing a college degree. “Volunteering is important because it helps us remember that we are servants first,” McMullin said. “These are our future neighbors, patients and co-workers, and we want to see them succeed.”
Volunteering with BBBSSA has given the medical students confirmation that a lifetime in the medical field is the right choice for them. “Volunteering with my Little reminds me why I want to pursue a career in pediatrics,” McMullin said. Jazmin Scott, first-year medical student and Big Sister, added, “I think that it is incredibly important that we put time and energy into today’s children so that they can have a bright future.”
The BBBSSA students plan to continue their service to the community throughout their medical school careers. Maria Siow, a first-year medical student and Big Sister, said that she plans to continue her work with her Little Sister while also working with the Student-Run Free Clinic. “It’s important for me to continue to connect with the community,” she said.
Students are strongly encouraged to get involved with BBBSSA. “I wish I had gotten involved in the program sooner while earning my undergraduate degree,” said Scott. “I think volunteering gives medical students a tangible way to make a difference in our community.”
Learn more about BBBSSA here.
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