Beaumont Parenting Program volunteers come to the program for many different reasons. Parents and grandparents who wish to share their experience. Professionals who hope to share their expertise. A young man who, hoping to “get a foot in the door” at the hospital to further his ambition to become a physician, also joined the BPP family.
Michael Sobolic, 21, has been a Parenting Program volunteer for 3½ years, working as a hearing screener and trainer. He’s also employed as a Clinical Assistant in Maternal Child Health at Troy Beaumont, and a Supplemental Instruction Leader for Anatomy and Physiology at Wayne State University. While Michael was searching for any way into Beaumont, he says that his first opportunity was “fortunately” the BPP. This is telling, because he’s clearly found a home in the BPP family.
It’s evident that Michael has established his place here in the stories he tells about volunteering. He finds happiness in assisting the nurses and making their days easier. He knows he’s making a difference in potentially preventing speech deficits in his young charges. It’s also obvious when you see Michael interacting with the staff with whom he works, as I’ve been privileged to do. He’s definitely a favorite with the mostly female staff, mothered and teased in turn, and appreciated and esteemed by all, as they talk with respect of his dedication and intellect.
One of the purposes of this Parenting Program blog feature is to share with our online community some of the fabulous volunteers who make the program so strong. To that end, one of my favorite questions — and one that rarely gets a response — is, “Share something that most in the Parenting Program don’t know about you.”
Michael, however, gave us a peek into himself by sharing that he “dance[s] in a Slovak Folk Dance group. [The group] dances at festivals and performances in the tristate area and occasionally internationally, with the last trip being to Eastern Slovakia.” He also enjoys going to Slovakia with his parents to see his family. He said, “I love walking down the long, winding, cobblestone streets on a beautiful day, eating gelato, [seeing] enticing storefronts with European pastries lining both sides.”
What a picture Michael paints, giving detail and dimension to the future physician with his foot in the hospital door. Peeking behind him, beyond that door, we can see a young man (with a sweet tooth) sharing his heritage with his family.
When asked for his favorite quote, Michael gave me this sentiment from Erma Bombeck. “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me.” I think it is safe to say that Michael is well on his way to being able to do just that.
– Nicole Capozello, Parenting Program Volunteer