As a Georgetown student, you’ll find that there’s a lot of focus on service and giving back to others. Guided by the Latin phrase “cura personalis”, it is part of our identity as Hoyas to care for others and serve the common good. As a student in the School of Nursing & Health Studies, I have found so many ways to volunteer and serve others in a way that’s centered around medicine, too!
Volunteering with Clubs
As club culture is a big piece of finding a community on campus, there are a multitude of service oriented organizations that bring people together to go out and serve. Two groups that I appreciate are Caring for Children with Cancer and Project Sunshine. Both groups are designed to help children facing serious medical conditions. Heroes for Hearts, Relay for Life, and Doctors without Borders all work and organize events for unique healthcare issues. Personally, I am involved with Georgetown University Oncology Patient Support, which is very similar to Breast Cancer Support, in aiding patients in the cancer ward at the MedStar Hospital right on campus.
Center for Social Justice
The Center for Social Justice (CSJ) is a department on campus whose entire mission is to help students get connected to service opportunities in DC. The CSJ offers programs that allows Georgetown students to act as community organizers, mentors, tutors, and volunteers within the city. Some of the programs they offer include After School Kids Program,Homeless Outreach, Georgetown Jumpstart, DC Stem, and DC Reads, many of which take place at local elementary schools. Personally, I plan to get involved with the Hypothermia Outreach Tea to help the local homeless community throughout the frigid winter season.
Volunteering in DC
As a student in the nation’s capital, many international organizations and NGOs house their headquarters just miles from campus. This is a great opportunity for students to connect directly with organizations and meet people outside of campus. For example, One Tent Health is an organization in D.C. that trains students to aid in screening citizens for HIV, and I think it’s a great place to volunteer if you’re a pre-med student looking to volunteer your time in supporting community health.
There are also many hospitals and clinics, from Medstar right on campus, to La Clínica del Pueblo. Any way you look, you will find a way to get involved and connected to a larger Purpose.
Summer and Spring Break Projects
If volunteering during the school year doesn’t fit into your schedule, Georgetown offers many opportunities to serve during breaks. The CSJ organizes Alternative Break Programs all over the world, from New York City to Peru. With different missions, each program has a specific cause and connection to the vibrant community students become immersed in. Similarly, many clubs have connection to summer service opportunities. For example, GlobeMed serves a clinic in Guatemala, sending students every summer. These are great ways to explore both physically and mentally the way you can serve.
Though finding a place to serve may be overwhelming, it is probably from the myriad of options. What is important is doing something you genuinely love. Service should never feel like a chore. With ample opportunity and unlimited, Preparing for medical school can be difficult to fit everything in, but finding a place to serve will never be on the hilltop.