Scholarship Review

Mary Bence

Aquinas Academy
Senior? Yes
Elite top 100? Yes
Letters of recommendation: Letter of Recommendation 1, Letter of Recommendation 2


I was heartbroken when I could not go on a service trip the summer after my sophomore year due to a hip injury. So, I spent my summer volunteering at UPMC St Margaret’s Hospital. I had already worked in the surgical waiting room and as a physical therapy transport staff member, but my injury tucked away in the library doing clerical work. The first couple of times were a bit boring, but then I started getting a weekly visitor. Bob was a truck driver who didn’t have health insurance. However, he had major liver issues and couldn’t get onto the wait list for a liver transplant. Luckily, the Saint Margaret’s Foundation was paying for him to come in every week to get his liver pumped. His mom drove him crazy, but he took care of her when he wasn’t working. Bob loved a specific online crossword puzzle, and every week, he would ask me how to spell “Wichita”. We would always chat, and he would tell me about his ‘glory days’, his friend’s son of whom he was extremely proud, and how he almost never went to school. He would only go on Fridays to find out where the parties were. I could only work at the hospital during the summer, so when he left on my last day, he looked at me and said, “thanks for talking to me, Girlie. Not a lot of people around here do that.”
I do not know how much of an effect our chats had on him, but I’m glad I talked to Bob as much as I did. It would have been much easier to have just shrugged him off, and continued with my clerical work. The world shrugs a lot of people off, and they don’t want to listen to them. People tend to be so interested in themselves that other people, like Bob, don’t seem worthy of them. I did not have to go on service trip to see it-this phenomenon exists in our very city. I know that I do not have to do a lot to make someone‚Äôs day-I just have to give them my time which is the greatest gift I can give anyone. I know that my experiences with Bob and other volunteer work have exposed me to more walks of life beyond my narrow scope.