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Precious Chukwuma

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Southmoore HS, OK
Attending Oklahoma University
Caregiver & school volunteer

In May of 2021, I got a job as a certified nurse aide at Harborchase Assisted Living and Memory Care. I get to take care of 80+ elderly people. I help feed, dress, play, bathe, and change them for 32 hours a week. I have been able to keep them company through this pandemic when they haven't been able to see their families. I have also been able to help families cope with having to move their 

loved ones here, the condition of their loved ones, and their loved ones passing away. There is this one resident who has stage 4 colon cancer and I am so happy that I can be by his side and put a smile on his face when he is in a severe amount of pain.

So many of the families have come up to me and told me how I have made a big impact on their lives. 

I have also been a part of so many clubs that have allowed me to help my community. In Key Club, we went several times to clean up Buck Thomas Park and went to food banks. For the National Honor Society, I donated gifts and helped wrap them for kids who don’t receive many gifts for Christmas. We also raised money and made gift baskets for front-line nurses. In Health Occupations Students of America, we wrote pen pal letters to nursing homes since a lot of them weren’t able to have visitors. One of my pen pals named Jim would tell me all the things he had missed doing with his kids and hoped one day that he will be able to do that one last time. Finally, in Junior Classical League, we set safe-trick in the school for kids to come and trick or treat.

 

Another way I have found that I can help my community in a more personal way is by always being a friend to people who are in need of a friend. I became friends with a classmate who had a difficult home life and struggled with depression and self harm. She would always tell me that she wished she was able to get a therapist, but her family wouldn’t let her. I ended up going to the school counselor who was able to get her a therapist. There was another girl in class who didn't have many friends. She was very quiet, people would always talk over her, and push her out of the conversation.  I always made sure to sit with her and lunch, and to make her feel special I convinced one of our teachers to surprise her for her birthday. These last 2 years have really taught me how important it is to help your community whether through volunteering or making a personal effort one-on-one.