Project Sunshine College Chapters are a community of volunteers who come together for a common purpose – serve
children facing medical challenges and their family members. This community is spread across the country and is made up
of 58 active chapters comprised of undergraduate and medical students. Project Sunshine at Boston University is a perfect
example of how the Project Sunshine community can support and develop volunteers and future leaders.
The chapter was co-founded in 2014 by a former University of New Hampshire volunteer, Krista Palmer. Krista first learned about
Project Sunshine at UNH while at a student activities fair. "They had a table and lots of beautifully done posters so I went over to see what it
was all about and instantly fell in love!"
A few semesters ago, Krista decided to transfer to Boston University. Despite the change in schools, Krista wanted to make sure that she
brought her Project Sunshine experience with her to Boston. Project Sunshine connected Krista to two other BU students, Kyra Solano and Gabriella
Serrano, and they applied to form a chapter together. Through their passion and dedication to Project Sunshine, they all worked to recruit and
train volunteers, find a university advisor, and form a relationship with Boston Medical Center, the hospital where they would soon bring creative
arts programming for children and families.
Maura Powers, a Child Life Specialist at Boston Medical Center, was eager to bring Project Sunshine volunteers into her hospital
because she herself was a former Project Sunshine volunteer! Maura recalls, "While pursuing a career in child life, when I attended the
University of New Hampshire, I was an active member for four years of their Project Sunshine chapter. Project Sunshine helped me confirm
that child life was the right career for me, and also gave me a diverse range of experiences to reflect on during my practice."
The BU students held their first creative arts program at Boston Medical Center this past December. They brought activities
around the theme of the movie Frozen. Maura reflects, "It has come full circle for me, watching the volunteers make as much of an
impact as I was able to in college. The time the volunteers spend here has made such a difference on the care of our pediatrics patients.
I love their creativity and willingness and natural ability to be flexible. They are very eager to help and share their skills and desire
to help hospitalized children." Project Sunshine at Boston University is going full-speed ahead this spring! Kyra explains, "I am looking
forward to holding our next program with our selected volunteers, and allowing them to love Project Sunshine just as much as I do!" she adds,
"I love Project Sunshine's message of bringing a sense of normalcy to children in a hospital setting, and I wanted to be a part of that in
every way possible, and allow students from my school to also be a part of that too."