Westminster Christian School student Elizabeth Figg volunteers at Homestead Hospital every Saturday.
“My class schedule started focusing around science and health care,” she says. “I wanted to gain more experience in the medical field.”
At Homestead, they give volunteers the opportunity to switch departments before the summer and before school starts.
“I always wanted to try other areas and see what it was like,” she says.
She’s worked in the kitchen preparing food for patients and delivering food for patients. Then she worked in the emergency department, doing a variety of things including sterilizing patient rooms, transporting patients to the proper rooms and preparing the nurse’s carts with medical supplies. She currently works in the gift shop.
Her experience at the hospital and her classes helped her decide she wants to become a physical therapist. She realized she likes the idea of helping people get better instead of seeing them at their worst.
“I am going to apply for a job shadowing opportunity at Baptist on North Kendall or West Kendall where I could work out of their physical therapy department,” she says.
She’ll continue to volunteer at Homestead Hospital even when she goes away to college.
Figg has been accepted to Texas Christian University, the University of South Carolina, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of Miami, Florida State University, the University of Florida and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. She’s still waiting to hear from one more school.
Her major would be Pre-physical Therapy. After a four-year undergraduate program, she plans to complete a Doctorate of Physical Therapy.
Figg plays soccer for Westminster. She’s been on the varsity team since her sophomore year. The team had a good season, making it to the regional quarterfinals.
At school, she’s also a Peer Counselor. Peer Counselors help fellow students who need someone to talk to. They are trained to help students cope with the stressors of high school or those who need extra support.
“They can request me on the website and we can meet if they want to talk,” she says.
She’s a member of the Westminster Leadership Council. As a leader of the Class of 2019, she helps organize school events and also the two required class service projects. For those projects, they have gone to Learning Links, a school for students with disabilities.
“We play with them and do art projects. Sometimes we do Easter Egg hunts,” she says.
They also work with organizations to do food drives such as backpacking bags with food. Before the holidays, the leadership council organized a campus-wide project to write Christmas cards to veterans. In the next couple of months, the class will go to the Marian Center, a school for the disabled in Miami Gardens.
Figg is a member of the National Honor Society. Through NHS she tutors elementary students. She volunteers as a counselor at Westminster’s summer Fun Camp and at her church’s summer camp.
Following in her mom’s footsteps, she attends the National Leadership Conference sponsored by the American Youth Foundation.
“It’s given me the opportunity to collaborate with diverse individuals from all around the country,” she says.
The first year, the conference agenda focuses on self-reflections. The second year is more about physical challenges and personal growth.
“This summer it will be my third year, she says. “I will be the cabin leader for the new incoming class.”
Attending the conference has changed her perspective on society.
“I’m very grateful for the experience,” she says.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld