In case you missed it, read Part I here: A Passion For Service Part I
Previously, we wrote about Ava and the summer volunteer work she’s been doing with COVID-19. We saw how she tested thousands of people on shifts that sometimes lasted for 12+ hours. She had the bruises on her face to prove it from wearing the required 3-layered masks. — But wait…there’s more!
As Ava continued volunteering, it not only included testing individuals, she also worked some days on calls and scheduling. Sound simple? Well, due to the high demand for testing, there would be about 15,000 to 20,000 calls that would come in for scheduling! Not only that, when inputting the names and numbers, if one letter or number was off in the system, that individual could not get tested. There was no room for mess-ups.
Ava did this volunteering throughout Montgomery County under the County’s Health Department. She admits there were struggles. “Sometimes I felt really tired, but I couldn’t say no. It’s hard sometimes, but it felt good at the end.” Ava believes that what kept her going was her passion for serving people. “I live by helping people. I just can’t if I don’t help people, I feel like I don’t exist.” WAU Honors College has also been a significant influence on Ava. “I’m just glad the culture of honors college is serving people,” she mentions, “and also the school’s ‘gateway to service.”
Although Ava was volunteering during this COVID-19 crisis, she took 10 credits of summer courses as well. “I TA’d for Professor Perez too,” she adds, “but yeah, mainly that was it. I mean, I couldn’t do anything else, to be honest.” She chuckles.
When asked what inspired her, she says, “This is what I was from the beginning, but I did see the influence from my parents as well and some of the people who helped my family when we moved to this country, because I had no family here. But my desire to help really sparked when I came to WAU! I got the vaccine of service when I entered the gateway!” she laughs.
Ava wants to continue her drive for service with her major in pre-med. She hopes to be a cardiovascular or cardiothoracic surgeon one day. “Many people die because of heart failures and not having heart transplants. When I was in high school, I started this little side research of 3d printing hearts. I just had the idea in my mind. When I got to WAU, I brought it up with Dr. Perez last year, and he said, ‘we can work on this!’ she smiled. She says that Professor Perez is her favorite professor who’s had a lot of impact on her.
Ava’s advice to future doctors, nurses, or any career is to “keep a positive attitude and keep the goal in mind always.” she continues that, “Your goal is to do your best in helping someone. You have to assure yourself and when you are in the room, just make sure that you’re putting in everything that you have. ‘Don’t cut corners,” like Dr. Perez likes to say. “Put your full effort into what you’re doing, and that usually leads to good results”.
Thank you Ava for sharing your story and inspiring us all!