“In order for a community to effectively work, there needs to be involvement. A community is nothing if it doesn’t have support from its members,” says Brooke Scardino, a senior at Archbishop Chapelle High School.
Scardino’s most rewarding volunteer experience has been participating in the Greater New Orleans Miracle League. For the past three years,she has been a buddy to assist children with mental and physical disabilities to play baseball.
“The children that I’ve helped have given me a positive outlook on my own life because they’ve taught me to enjoy even the little things such as playing a simple game of baseball,” she says.
As a volunteer at Ochsner Health System, Scardino learned more about her community. She has met many people from different backgrounds and different lifestyles.
“Despite the fact that most of the people I interacted with at this hospital were from the same community I was from, there was so much diversity in lifestyles and personal views that I never realized existed.”
Scardino was also a participant in Ochsner’s Science Technology Academics Research (STAR) Program. This program is a tuition-free program for high school students interested in pursuing education and careers in science and medicine.
Scardino doesn’t have just one adult who influenced her to become an activist, but many; she credits her science teachers throughout her entire education.
During the STAR program, Scardino was able to explore the medicine and business sides of working in a large health system. She grew her leadership abilities by meeting and getting advice from the leaders at Ochsner Health System. Spending the summer in this program taught Scardino that it takes a variety of people with different skills to run a hospital.
“[The teachers] all truly care about and love what they teach, and therefore it’s so much more enjoyable to learn from them. I think that’s what being an activist is about,” says Scardino. “You have to have a strong belief in what you’re sharing with others or else activism would not be possible because people don’t want to follow a leader that doesn’t have faith in what they’re doing.”
Scardino doesn’t know where she wants to attend college just yet, but would like to attend a school in the South and pursue a career in a STEM field, like engineering. Engineering interests Scardino because she enjoys finding creative solutions to problems. She also will continue her activism with her community and hopes to get involved with women’s equality.