Student earns top honors for volunteer work
Wednesday, Apr. 23
Kaleb Scott has put in 232 hours of volunteer time at Fauquier Hospital.
Courtesy of Fauquier Health
Kaleb Scott has been in and out of hospitals his entire life with severe asthma. He decided that he wanted to give back to the doctors that have helped him by volunteering at Fauquier Hospital.
The Fauquier High School senior was recently honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award for the extensive hours that he has put in at the hospital.
The award was presented to Kaleb on behalf of President Barack Obama by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. The program honors middle and high school students across the nation for their volunteer work. Students are judged on criteria including personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth.
“I thought the right thing to do would be to help give back to those who have helped me and help them in return,” said Kaleb. “It is important to me because those people spent years healing me and making me better. I feel that because I am now relatively healthy, it is my responsibility to return the favor and help them out.”
Kaleb has logged a total of 232 hours in the junior volunteer program at the hospital. He also participated in medical camps and logged hours over the last summer. He plans on volunteering an additional 45 hours over this upcoming summer break.
Kaleb has participated with Volunteer Fauquier through out high school. He also shadowed his mentor and family friend, Dr. Jeffery Joseph in an emergency room.
Kaleb went on a medical mission trip to Kisumu, Kenya last summer with a group called Unboxed Lives, working in medical clinics, orphanages and schools.
“We spent our time organizing makeshift hospitals and caring for the natives in Kenya,” said Kaleb. “We also visited several orphanages and cared for the children.”
Kaleb said that working with the children in Africa truly changed his outlook on life.
“I learned from my volunteer work to never take anything for granted,” said Kaleb. “After working in Africa, I had a whole new perspective on life. The children and the adults in Kenya were truly thankful for everything they had, even when they had nothing.”
He recalls giving one of the children at an orphanage a soccer ball and being taken aback by the joy that the child felt from receiving the small gift.
“His face lit up like a Christmas tree,” said Kaleb. “That child didn’t know what he was missing, in comparison to the United States, and when I gave him the ball, he turned into the happiest kid alive. You must truly be thankful for what you have, as well as the cards you were dealt and make the best of your current situation. The children in Africa changed my life, as well as my view on it and the way I live.”
Kaleb said that he plans on studying health sciences at James Madison University when he is done with high school. After that he would like to become a physician’s assistant.
“From there, I hope to become a plastic surgeon to provide pro bono surgery to members of third world countries who are not able to afford it,” he said. “I chose to volunteer in the hospital to get ahead of the game, that way if I am ever asked if I have any experience, I am able to tell them about all of the time and work I contributed to the hospital.”
Kaleb’s parents are very proud of his achievement and his hard work.
“We are extremely proud of Kaleb's hard work, tenacity and achievements,” said Kristy Wheeler-Scott, Kaleb’s mother. “He is a well rounded young man, who strives to succeed, and overcome any obstacles that may arise.”
Kristy said that as a parent she encourages her children to be responsible and caring citizens by participating in volunteer opportunities.
“Our entire family volunteers at the Well Run Race on an annual basis, as well as at the Special Olympic Track and Field Event,” she said. “Volunteerism and helping those in need is a valuable lesson, especially in today's society where so much emphasis is placed on materialism and selfishness. We have encouraged him to make a difference, and he is.”
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