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Volunteer Spotlight: Boston University

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."

More Volunteer Stories of Interest

Sports Illustrated model, Damaris Lewis, volunteered for her second year as a Project Sunshine Dance Camp instructor to empower young women through dance.
Emilio Delgado, who has played Luis on Sesame Street for 40 years, brought sunshine to pediatric patients at Mount Sinai´s KidZone as part of Project Sunshine´s Book Club

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