Summer Youth Volunteer Program (SYVP) 2020 - Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
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Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

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Summer Youth Volunteer Program (SYVP) 2020

Congratulations to our ten Summer Youth Volunteers, who, after a rigorous application process, were selected to spend six weeks focusing their abilities and talents to leverage technology and Bridge the Digital Divide.  This year’s all-virtual program is aimed at filling in the knowledge gaps to better enable Veteran patients to utilize technology platforms for virtual care appointments and enhanced social connections.

Summer Youth Volunteers are required to log at least 50 hours throughout their six-week commitment and will be able to compete for the James H. Parke Memorial Scholarship.  These talented students are working on a variety of projects, which include:

  • Helping consolidate VA Video Connect (VVC) resources on SharePoint for a “one-stop-shop” for provider information;
  • Creating an information sheet to distribute to Veterans to help them use and access VVC for Primary Care appointments;
  • Working with the Caregiver Support Team to create a virtual Caregiver Support Summit;
  • Helping the Lowcountry Veterans Engagement Team with the technology needed to support this year’s VetTalks virtually; and
  • Equipping volunteers with virtual tools by creating and offering training in a variety of online platforms, including WebEx.
 Auryanna Ascue
Charleston County School of the Arts,
North Charleston, SC

Ascue SYV
"I chose to participate in the VA Volunteer Program this summer because I wanted to help bridge the gap between those who can and cannot use online platforms comfortably. Veterans right now may have struggles with communicating with their friends and family or finding ways to occupy their days in the hospital. I am determined to help them in anyway I can, especially through my love for dance."

Kevin Davoud
Statesboro High,
Statesboro, GA

"I am excited to help improve the experience of Veterans at the VA!"
Sophia Leclerc
Academic Magnet School,
North Charleston, SC

Leclerc SYV
“I decided to volunteer for the VA this Summer because it’s a beneficial experience for the Veterans to be more comfortable with technology; I believe that I have the skills necessary to help others succeed with using various technologies and online communication platforms such as Zoom.”
 Amanda Manea
University of South Carolina,
Columbia, SC

Amanda Menea SYV
"I chose to volunteer for the Charleston VA this summer because I thought that I could really make a difference in the Veteran community. Using social media has helped me stay connected with my friends during these difficult times, and when I heard that I could use my proficiency in social media platforms to help Veterans stay connected with one another and the VA, I realized that I had to join the program! A volunteer experience like no other, I hope to turn technology from a barrier into a helping hand for Veterans to receive medical care and stay in touch with the VA."

 Dorian Mitchell
Fort Dorchester High School,
North Charleston, SC

Mitchell SYV
"I chose to work at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center because my whole family is made up of Veterans. So when I give back to the Veterans at the VA, it is like I am giving back to my family. I also like the way I am able to interact with different people and have a nice workplace experience." 

Sophie Nguyen

Academic Magnet School,
North Charleston, SC

Racheal Oladimeji

Stratford High School,
Goose Creek, SC

Racheal Oladimeji

“I volunteer with the VA to give back to the heroes who sacrifice so much for our country.”

Harman Pelia
Charleston County School of the Arts,
North Charleston, SC
Helen Piltner
Statesboro High,
Statesboro, GA

Piltner SYV
"I decided to volunteer with the VA this summer because I wanted to use my valuable time to help Veterans through projects that will enable them to become more comfortable with technology. I believe that during difficult times like these, it is especially important to give back to others, especially Veterans who have bravely served our country."
Owen Selden
Charleston, SC

“I chose to volunteer amid this pandemic because I wanted a chance to use my technological skills to better the lives of Veterans. I chose this opportunity because it allows unparalleled autonomy and personal creativity that has fostered for me — excitement and motivation to get to work each day to help Veterans.”