Paulina Maida is a very motivated and caring young woman. Though only a sophomore at Seton Catholic Central High School in Binghamton, NY, she displays great aptitude in her studies, besides an impressive volunteer record. Paulina teaches Sunday school, participates in plays, sings in Chorus concerts, volunteers at a local hospital, participates in the Catholic Character Council and reads and serves at Mass.
One of the most enriching activities in her busy schedule, Paulina says, is helping out at Barnes Kasson Hospital in Susquehanna, PA for a couple of hours every week. She gives the nurses a much needed break by passing out and collecting dinner trays, filling up water pitchers, taking orders for evening snacks, organizing papers and making beds.
However, Paulina’s favorite part of the job is interacting with the patients at the hospital. Many of them are elderly and lonely, and Paulina has noted that it can be very meaningful to just sit and talk with a patient. Paulina witnesses first hand that the adage is true: it’s really not fun to be sick. People in hospitals often feel disconnected from the outside world and have no one to talk to. That is why Paulina makes sure to talk with the patients about their lives and interests.
The patients are also happy when Paulina takes them outside in a wheelchair so that they can enjoy nature, when she reads to them, and when she helps them with their personal toiletries. Paulina always carries a makeup bag with her containing different brightly colored nail polishes, nail files, and nail clippers. Many elderly ladies have gotten a kick out of having their nails done in the hospital, “just like at the salon!”