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Thread: High School Student, how to start?

  1. #11

    If your described interest in helping others is genuine, some of the volunteer options already mentioned by others are a good initial approach that can permit the "shadowing" experience that you mentioned. Please understand the importance of maturity in caregivers who provide the types of assistance referenced in your post. A wise individual will immediately observe the need for caution in receiving an inexperienced high school student into such situations.

    There are; of course, high school students who are mature enough to be terrific helpers in the exact tasks that you have referenced. While "formal" education is indeed an important caregiver qualifier - do not underestimate this fact - it is not an essential prerequisite to being a good caregiver. In fact, many who participate in this forum could testify about highly certified caregivers who were not good caregivers.

    If the person being helped is sufficiently knowledgeable in matters pertaining to their care, it is not necessary to have a certification or degree to be a terrific caregiver. In such cases, some of the greatest characteristics of a caregiver are: maturity - high school age being neither a disqualifier nor a guarantee of maturity - integrity, and a desire to help even in unpleasant situations.

  2. #12
    I really, really was not expecting so many responses...
    Thank you so much!
    Onto the individual replies

    Thank you, I'm very happy to be here.
    I don't think I would consider myself as a fitting caregiver for your mother either. Lots of people tell me I have always been mature for my age, my parents are older than most, and all of my family members are over 30 or under 7... Needless to say, I have been surrounded by "maturity" all my life. Whoever, I do enjoy embellishing in child like antics, and it sometimes comes out in my humor too.

    There are so many possibilities for future work that, while I know I want to work directly with patients, hopefully sooner rather than later, it's hard to focus, and grasp just how many things interest me. I plan on taking a gap year between high school and college, to explore my interests... Do you think by the time I reach that age, and do all the right things to get there, I would be a prospective caregiver?
    -Thanks again!

    Thank you so much, it really means a lot!

    *overcome with welcoming feelings* hehe
    Thank you! All my "good intention" is being used by fellow classmates who gain an empathetic ear to their problems! I can't believe I forgot about summer camps! Last year I applied but I didn't meet the age requirement, I'll have to search for the name of it again.

    Great username haha, thanks for the suggestions, I definitely have some more researching to do!

    Do you know of any in Manhattan? All I could come up with were ones in New Jersey... I can handle commuting but NJ is a whole other world.

    Sheesh, I looked into it and all of the programs want someone who has graduated from high school or is over 18... (Note: get fake id.) haha, but thanks, if I get desperate/bored, I'll email the program leader people and ask if they would be willing to accept a meager 16 year old such as myself.

    I am tempted to break out into song and dance "I believe I can flyyyyyy"
    Haha... I mentioned this to SCI-Nurse, but I'll give you the abridged version! I'm still a young, flighty, indecisive female(hah, see, jokes, with the stereotypes and... It's late/early, just... ignore all attempts at my failed humor) so, while I know I want to work directly with patients, no matter the conditions because I really just... Want to be there for them, and help them work through it, and maybe I should look into rehab therapy... But I want to keep my options open. I will most definitely stay in school, you don't even have to worry about that! My gosh I get so excited by just the idea of college(though I'm going to be sick of the word in 2 months) and all the course I could take and everywhere I could go and yayyy..... So yeah, the sky's the limit but I think... The road to being a doctor isn't the most inviting one, and I'm not that big of a competitive person. I ranted, sorry...
    So... Thank you so much! Sorry my response to you one line is ridiculous... I'm in a state of sleep deprivation!

    That. Is. So. Awesome. Oh my gosh I think I might do that for my gap year, it sounds perfect. Thank you thank you! I'm not really all that interested in getting money as of now, but I bet that will be a big thing when I enter the real world and whatnot... I'm sorta still living up the bubble life where everything's free unless I leave the house!

    Thank you for being so honest! I'd love to be ale to find a cure, but the fact of the matter is, I'd probably explode sitting for years on end doing research on a specific protein that could do such and such to the spinal cords nerve endings (that is all blabber that just spilled out of my brain and into my fingers so it isn't real but I'm going to pretend that could convince someone I'm bright enough to find a cure). I think it would be more beneficial to work with a patient directly, rather than mess up research by breathing on a test tube for too long or something... But really, I appreciate the honesty, it's always needed!

    Okay, I'm apologizing in advanced, beware... because it's 6am and I'm turning into a zombie.
    That being said, when I started writing these responses, I was 1. more coherent, 2. not yet a zombie. I tried(wether or not successfully so is up to the readers interpretation) to express my "maturity".
    I don't like trying to act mature, I don't try to look older, and I find people who act that way, which is acting against who they really are just to fit in or something, in the end just seem very immature. IF my run on sentence makes no sense, remind me to edit it. I hope I will never have an interview in this state.
    Hopefully, the majority of the people hiring are wise, for I pity them if they aren't. Thank you.
    Everytime I find a possible volunteer opportunity, it always comes down to the fact that I'm either not old enough, or not qualified enough. Hopefully I'll be able to gain experience without those prerequisites.

    And again, thank you!!

  3. #13
    Hi Jadedsimiles :
    I believe with your determination you can do anything you set your mind to .

    There is all sorts of kool state accredited courses for you to venture into via Helping people

    Good luck on following your dreams
    Set goals and get after them Girl you'll do just fine
    I've seen life from both sides of the fence as a caregiver , psychology is my major so I balanced out my life pretty well

    Keep smiling and ask away

    Welcome aboard


  4. #14
    I've been thinking about psychology for awhile, but I worry how the people I work with would take that... Would they respond negatively and think I was trying to psychoanalyze them if they were aware I studied it?

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by zillazangel View Post
    Speaking as a caregiver, I say this gently - I agree with CowboyCrip. Do not aspire to this, have a bigger dream. This work is hard, low paid and often without acknowledgment. Reach higher - become a doc and work to CURE sci, the best care anyone could contribute!!
    I agree with you

    My aide has been with me a long time and i think she only makes about 11 bucks an hour. If this girl wants to get in this field, try something like becoming a PT or OT. Much better compensation.

  6. #16
    Good luck jaded.. (interesting avatar, maybe something inadvertently Freudian ). Your enthusiasm is infectious. You're obviously intelligent, caring, well spoken.

    However, take your time, explore all of your options, enjoy the next, incredible, phases (college, etc.) of your life. At this point you may be a little idealistic in what you're considering as a career path so you may want to take a breath, listen to others here, pace yourself, and take it one step at a time. Not to discourage you at all but the realities and intricacies of caregiving are long and varied. The expectations perceived vs the compassion you have and want to share will have to find the right balance in your life.

    Good luck with your pursuits, I'm confident that you will reach your goals and look forward to hearing about your progress..

    And welcome to CC...

    Onward & Upward,


  7. #17
    Junior Member redros3's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Hi Jaded!!
    While I agree that caregivers are generally under paid and many people don't appreciate the work these people do, I can tell you it is these people that make the most difference. I think your desire for exploration is fantastic. I am 21 and I can tell you that I would totally be ok with letting you help me and give you a more personal insight into what life with a SCI is like, that being said... It obviously isn't possible with our locations. BUT! If I'd be willing to, I'm sure there are other young SCI in your area. How you'd go about meeting up with one? not sure. maybe through volunteering or one of the previously mentioned. I commend you for being so caring and for reaching out to us for answers! You rock!

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by jadedsimiles View Post
    I really, really was not expecting so many responses...
    Thank you so much!
    Onto the individual replies

    Do you know of any in Manhattan? All I could come up with were ones in New Jersey... I can handle commuting but NJ is a whole other world.
    Mount Sinai has an extensive rehab program. Perhaps you want to speak to their hospital volunteer coordinator. Best of luck.

  9. #19
    Moderator jody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    east o the southern warren
    aiming higher is great advice. I agree, but well unless you get a totally free ride, or have really rich parents, you are probably going to need to work. if you become a doctor, or medical scientist of some kind, you will have had some expierences learning about people, and care or lack of care.

    dont forget the candy striper. The girls in the lil pepermint aprons at most hospitals passing out books or trays at mealtime. that is volunteer, and the people I know who tried it were going into nursing or some kind of medical arts. you can do that as a high school student.

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