Sean was a dependable, conscientious volunteer. While I have had many students assigned to my department, I was comfortable in knowing that this young man would report on time, the days of his obligation. Mr. Erskine was a quick study, who demonstrated the ability to focus on assigned tasks, in a highly organized manner, hence completed assignments efficiently.
Mr. Erskine accepted all tasks assigned to him, completing them with efficiency. When he was uncertain as to how to proceed, he quickly sought counsel with appropriate staff. As the summer progressed, I assigned him duties necessitating greater independent thinking and reasoning. Specific duties included the input of data into a national database. He was given a telephone-spread sheet of key phone numbers, to be kept current. Mr. Erskine was assigned the task of loading software on PC’s and making back up software copies. He was given assignments to replace keyboards in various work sites and to trouble shoot, when hospital personnel experienced minor technical problems. I was able to trust Mr. Erskine with a key, allowing him to access telecommunications systems. On one particular day, Mr. Erskine independently shuttled to a neighboring VA site, where he needed to locate various closets and replace spreadsheets. The above truly demonstrates his acceptance of responsibility and fulfillment of assignments, as he took his assignments seriously, and functioned capably.
Mr. Erskine is a pleasant, introspective young man. As he became comfortable with staff, he functioned as a colleague to those that he came in direct contact with. Often, mature veteran volunteers would stop him in the halls and ask if he were an employee, based on the way he carried himself. When they found out otherwise, the gentlemen did not hesitate to compliment Sean on his decision to spend his summer, as a new high school graduate, giving of his time to the veterans. Sean, when observed in conversation with veterans, was respectful and engaging.
Mr. Erskine demonstrated strong leadership ability. He was a role model for the staff of the Information Resource Management division. As an eighteen year old, he accepted his assignments, and dutifully carried them out. It was he who requested to volunteer in this department, so as to have hands on experience in his intended field of study. He eagerly wanted to learn what he could. In my conversations with him, I discovered that this young man demonstrated leadership ability within his community as well, organizing a group of youth from his church to sponsor a meal at a homeless shelter, and organizing a group of young men from his community to play in a paintball tournament, where proceeds benefited a newly established cancer research foundation. Sean was awarded a trophy by the foundation, for his selfless efforts.
Mr. Erskine was an inspiration to all he came in contact with. Both in-patients and out-patients were seen making small talk in hallways with this young man. What was obvious to all was his enjoyment of his work. He demonstrated mature, capable behavior that was an inspiration to patients, particularly those who were involved in Incentive Therapy, and Corrective Work Therapy.