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Student receives volunteer award

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Hospital: Kerry Song earns state accolades

By Tris DeRoma

She originally volunteered just to serve others and perhaps learn a little about cardiology, but Los Alamos High School student Kerry Song actually came away with a little something more for her efforts.

Song, who signed up to volunteer in the Los Alamos Medical Center’s Physical Therapy and Cardiac Rehabilitation unit, recently received the New Mexico Hospital Association’s Junior Volunteer of the Year Award. She received the award for work she did at the hospital during the summer of 2011 and recently received her award.

According to Song’s supervisor, Kathryn Garela, it didn’t take long for her to trust Song’s judgment.

“I quickly caught on to the fact that she was very organized,” Garela said. “The second or third thing I asked her to do was organize the storage room, because I knew she’d be wonderful at it.” Other duties Song performed included delivering mail and filing, tasks she was equally good at.

“She is definitely a self-starter,” Garela said.

And of course, LAMC was quick to reward her for her hard work and dedication. Occasionally, Garela would arrange to have Song observe in the hospital’s cardiology wing.

“We are willing to send her wherever she would like to go to learn and get more information about her career path,” Garela said.

And learn she did. Though she had to cut back her hours since winning the award due to high school activities, Song said she still volunteers at LAMC whenever she can.

“I show up there as much as I can, usually after school,” she said. “What I like about it is that it gives me the opportunity to help people and to see what goes on behind the scenes.”

For as long as she can remember, Song has found the heart to be fascinating.

“It’s such an interesting organ,” Song said. “It basically makes the body function. It pumps blood and is the reason we are alive.

Her mother, Tao Sun, hopes her daughter keeps pursuing her dreams. “I’m very supportive of her no matter what she wants to do,” Sun said.