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Sunrise's assisted living options offer personalized assistance, supportive services and compassionate care in a professionally managed, carefully designed, community setting. It's the perfect alternative for seniors who can no longer live on their own at home, yet don't need 24-hour, complex medical supervision.
Sunrise Assisted Living
3500 Riverside Drive
Columbus, OH 43221
By Lisa Brawer, VolunteerMatch Intern
Every graduating senior knows that extra-curricular activities look fabulous on college applications. But high school senior Jessica Brenner volunteers for one simple reason: because she loves doing it.
Jessica has volunteered in several places, but spends most of her time at Sunrise Assisted Living, a retirement home in her community of Columbus, Ohio. There, her responsibilities are simple: spend time with the people living there, engage with them, and bring some of her youthful energy and enthusiasm into their lives. And Jessica enjoys it just as much as the people she visits with.
"I think [the residents] get really lonely and it helps to talk to someone," she says. "They've told me a lot how they appreciate me being there."
As part of the increasingly competitive process of getting into college, many high school students look to volunteering as a way to differentiate themselves. And though it's great that they are encouraged to help the community, too often their career in service ends there.
Jessica is different. She looks at volunteering as a natural extension of who she is as a person.
"I've always loved to see people happy," she explains. "I care about everyone I come in contact with, so I believe that's why I began volunteering. It's just something I've always loved to do."
Through her time at Sunrise, Jessica has learned a lot about herself and others -- a development she credits to both the residents and Sunrise's volunteer coordinator, Jordan Levy.
"He didn't consider it a job; he considered it his life," says Jessica. "That rubbed off on me."
One aspect she finds especially rewarding is getting to know people who are so much older than her and hearing their stories. Many of the residents she spends time with are in their nineties -- a far cry from Jessica's 18 years!
"I learn a lot though listening to all of the people at Sunrise, learning about their experiences and their past. I've learned a lot of history," she says.
Jessica's goals for the future have also been shaped by her volunteering and her recognition that she can have an impact on the lives of others. In college, she plans to go into social work or early childhood development.
"Volunteering, not only at Sunrise but at other places as well, has helped me discover that I simply love to help people," says Jessica. "I believe that people can sense that I truly care.
Jessica is proof that the rewards for teen volunteers are huge, and though there's no telling what the next few years hold in store for her, one thing is certain: her volunteering has shaped her into someone who is truly capable of making a positive impact on people's lives.
And that is a beautiful thing!
How about you? You're beautiful too, when you volunteer. If you're looking for a new role or project, you can find it at VolunteerMatch. Why not get started right now?