Julia Roper '15
Student Director of Tucker Fellowships
Hometown: Lynden, WARead the full interview
Local service programs focused on health & fitness provide students with an opportunity to work with individuals and groups to raise awareness related to specific causes or conditions, and often offer exposure to relevant healthcare agencies and/or programs. While some programs are mentor-based, all follow a highly support-focused model. Volunteers in these programs assist individuals with tasks they might not ordinarily be able to perform independently, and encourage an active and healthy lifestyle in the Upper Valley community at large. Students pursuing a pre-medical academic track, especially, might consider volunteering with one or more of these programs, as doing so will allow them to engage more deeply with the healthcare community in the Upper Valley and to explore a variety of professions related to practicing medicine.
Dartmouth CAPS (Cancer And Patient Services), through cooperation with the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at DHMC, assists people receiving treatment for cancer or long-term illness by providing support to patients at their homes and at the Upper Valley Hostel. Students help make the process of cancer treatment a little less challenging by aiding with chores such as grocery shopping and home maintenance. Volunteers also assist with tasks at the Upper Valley Hostel, which provides comfortable and affordable accommodations for individuals receiving treatment at area hospitals, and at David's House, which provides a home-away-from-home and support for families with children receiving treatment at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.
Generations Project encompasses multiple programs that serve the senior citizen community. Volunteers are informally matched with seniors to share stories and build relationships. Favorite activities include potluck parties and square-dancing lessons!
Good Neighbors assists in improving community outreach and awareness for Good Neighbor Health Clinic in White River Junction, VT. The clinic provides free primary care for uninsured or underinsured Upper Valley residents. Volunteers create and distribute promotional materials and fundraise for larger outreach events.
Red Cross Club aims to heighten campus awareness of the term's blood drive and to encourage students and community members to donate blood. Volunteers help to organize and staff the drive by coordinating shifts for community and student volunteers and by registering donors. An initiative within the Red Cross Club, ORGANize Dartmouth raises awareness of the power of organ, eye, and tissue donation to save lives, and helps interested individuals to register as donors.
Runners Stick Together works at Hartford High School in White River Junction, VT to create lasting relationships between mentors and mentees through healthy physical activity. Using running and other exercise as a resource for reflection and problem solving, RST instills confidence, empathy, and appreciation of a healthy lifestyle. Mentees have the opportunity to set goals and to achieve them with support from one another and from their mentors.
Special Olympics provides people with physical and mental differences the opportunity to enjoy athletics and competition. Volunteers join these individuals for fun weekly activities at the Spark! Community Center in Lebanon and help to plan major events, such as the Winter and Summer Special Olympics Games.
STAR (Steps Toward Adult Responsibility) pairs Dartmouth students with chronic illnesses or disabilities with Upper Valley adolescents living with similar illnesses and disabilities. Student mentors host dinner discussion groups on living with a chronic illness, offer space for parents to meet with one another, and organize social activities with the teens.
Last Updated: 1/6/15