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Articles / 2011

Four CMH Junior Volunteers Earn Maria Cavallo Scholarships

Ventura County Star
Saturday, 07/02/2011
by jcressy

Community Memorial Hospital’s Auxiliary awarded four members of the hospital’s Junior Volunteers program who plan to pursue careers in healthcare with scholarships totaling $6,500 from its Maria Cavallo Scholarship Fund.

The recipients – Sam O’Donnell ($2,500), Michael Huang ($2,000), Jessica Ramirez ($1,000) and Kaitlin Maxwell ($1,000) – all graduated in June from local high schools and will be attending college in the fall.

O’Donnell began volunteering at CMH in March of 2009 and has served over 570 hours. He puts in about eight hours per week either at the front desk, back desk or gift shop and has served as junior co-chair of the Back Desk Service for two years. In addition to volunteering at CMH, O’Donnell gave up his lunch hour at Foothill Technology High School every day to mentor struggling students in the school’s Foothill Intervention, Reinforcement and Enrichment program. He also has volunteered in the Foothill for Africa program dedicated to helping build a village school in Sierra Leone.

O’Donnell was captain of Foothill’s Speech and Debate Team and secretary general of the school’s Political Action and Awareness Club, as well as being a member of the Bioscience Academy. He is a National Merit Scholarship finalist, was selected Ventura Unified School District’s Student of the Year, is a Ventura County Star Scholar and was valedictorian of his high school class, graduating with a 4.65 grade point average. O’Donnell wants to be a medical researcher and will attend Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., in the fall.

Huang began volunteering at CMH in September of 2007, when he was a freshman at Foothill Tech. Since then, he has worked over 542 hours at the back desk and pharmacy, where he has been junior co-chair for several years. Huang earned a 4.5 GPA in high school and also volunteered in the Foothill for Africa program. He has played in three sports in high school and is an outstanding pianist and clarinet player. Huang has been the outstanding musician three times in competitions with the National Federation of Music Clubs and has won Junior Bach Festival honors. He will attend UCLA in the fall with the goal of becoming a physician, either in anesthesiology or oncology.

Ramirez began serving CMH in May 2008 and has put in over 533 hours in Maternity Service, where she trains new volunteers and has served as junior co-chair. She attended Oxnard High School and played on the school’s girls’ varsity soccer team for three years. Ramirez also earned a scholarship for placing second in an Association of California School Administrators essay contest in 2011. She earned a 3.43 GPA while enrolled in her school’s Advancement via Individual Determination program for students who will be the first in their family to attend college or university. In addition, Ramirez has served in the Upward Bound program at California Lutheran University and works as a sales associate at Tilly’s women’s clothing store in Oxnard. She will attend Cal State Northridge, with the goal of becoming a pediatrician.

Maxwell has been with CMH since January 2009, volunteering over 354 hours volunteering in the Emergency Department and as a desk receptionist/flyer. She graduated with a 3.5 GPA from St. Bonaventure High School, where she played varsity volleyball and earned the coach’s award and the scholar athlete award for 2007-2010. Maxwell also received academic excellence awards in math, Spanish, English and religion and was a member of the National Honor Society, California Scholarship Federation, Thousand Oaks Youth Leadership Conference, Key Club and Fellowship for Christian Athletes. She also has put in over 250 hours at her school’s Campus Ministry Core Team. Maxwell’s goal is to become a pediatric oncology nurse, and she will attend San Diego State University in the fall.

The Maria Cavallo Fund provides scholarships annually to graduating high school seniors who have served at least 100 hours in the auxiliary, have maintained a 3.0 GPA or better and who will be attending an accredited college or university and taking courses in the healthcare field. Recipients must be planning to pursue a healthcare career in roles such as physician, nurse, physical therapist and pharmacist. Maria Cavallo’s family established the fund in memory of the 15,000 hours she gave as a CMH Auxiliary member.

Contributions to the fund are made throughout the year from auxiliary members, CMH employees and the public. Gifts may be a donation, or a gift provided in memory or in honor of anyone the donor wishes to remember.
To donate, call the Community Memorial Healthcare Foundation office at 667-2881. To apply for the Junior Volunteer program, call Edie Marshall 639-0693.

This story is contributed by a member of the Ventura community and is neither endorsed nor affiliated with Ventura County Star.

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