Grade 12 student Maya Geerts. (Millar Hill - 100 Mile Free Press)

Community Spirit: Going above and beyond academic expectations

Some students love going to school, some go, well, because they have to and others, go beyond what’s expected of them.

Grade 12 Peter Skene Ogden (PSO) Secondary Student, Maya Geerts, has been devoting at least two hours a week volunteering in the community.

“Anytime I need a volunteer, Maya is willing to help,” said Heather Woods, the career assistant at PSO. “She is reliable, efficient and has no problem encouraging other kids to volunteer. She is a good role model.”

Geerts is in the home stretch of her final year as a high school student. She says she is planning to attend the University of British Columbia with a focus on earning a bachelor’s degree in science.

“I don’t know which one (major) just yet, maybe in chemistry,” said Geerts, sitting with a science textbook in front of her. “I am currently waiting to find out if I have been accepted.”

Since Grade 9, Geerts has been volunteering once a week at the 100 Mile General Hospital.

“I think it is important to volunteer,” said Geerts. “You get to see the people in your community and I don’t think I would have met as many people as I have if I didn’t volunteer my time. I spend a lot of my time in school or with people around my age, but when I volunteer, I spend time with other demographics.”

Aside from volunteering at the hospital, Geerts has been volunteering each year at the Oktoberfest at the 108 Mile Community Hall, on the soccer fields or at school for orientations. Geerts said the hospital is one of her favourite places to volunteer at.

“Often, I will help the nurses with whatever they may need, any cleaning or bringing water and food to the patients.”

There was one particular patient at the hospital during one of the weeks, that Geerts said will always be a memory.

“There was a man who was in there, I believe about a year ago,” said Geerts. “He was particularly chatty, and we talked the entire time I was volunteering, where I usually would have been doing other tasks. I guess it really made a difference. This Christmas he dropped of chocolates to my parent’s workplace, saying it was really nice to have someone to talk to.”

When asked to describe herself, Geerts said she is a reliable, motivated and kind person who can offer good advice.

“I like the interactions with the people I see or meet, that I probably wouldn’t have if I didn’t volunteer,” said Geerts. “In the hospital, I have experienced many situations that I think would have made me uncomfortable, if I never volunteered.”

Outside of school or volunteering, Geerts is most likely to be doing something that keeps her busy. She is a soccer player and a pianist.

“I always need something to do,” said Geerts. “Volunteering is such a fulfilling commitment even if it is just once a year, it really helps others out.”

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