Haven Hospice Volunteers Ebony Johnson and Mi’Kayla Suggs were honored with Student of the Year Certificates at a recent Center for Independent Living (CIL) of North Central Florida awards banquet.

Ebony and Mi’Kayla, who are members of the High School High Tech program at the CIL, both volunteered their time during the summer working in the Office Services Department at the E.T. York Care Center.

“The High School High Tech Program is a youth program that works with high school students with all types of disabilities to help them make the transition from high school to college or a career,” said Melissa Merrill the High School High Tech Program Director at the CIL. “Not every student gets the opportunity to participate in an internship like Ebony and Mi’Kayla. The program only requires students to work for 60 hours, but they worked all summer to get extra hours.”

The two teens spent their time at Haven working with Haven Hospice Office Service Specialist Barbara Stalbaum learning proper administrative protocol and procedures. They also learned office machine operations such as copiers and printers, computer data entry, and delivered mail to staff.

“This was Ebony’s second summer internship here at Haven. I spoke with her mother at the banquet, who beamed with pride as her daughter was awarded her Student of the Year Certificate,” said Jayna Mason Haven Volunteer Coordinator. “She told me how impressed she was that Haven provided her daughter with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and that Ebony was always eager to volunteer with Haven.

Haven was also selected to receive the Employer of the Year Award presented by the CIL. “It was an honor to be recognized among many businesses that support this organization as a leader for 2014 to 2015,” said Mason.

Volunteers are a vital member of the Haven Care Team.  They provide companionship, support and assistance to patients residing at home, in assisted living facilities, nursing homes and hospitals.  They also reach out to grieving families, assist with administrative tasks, serve on special event committees and help staff Attic Resale Stores.  Haven is proud to have more than 700 community members dedicating their time and talents to patients and families in 18 counties across North Florida. If you are interested in volunteering in Gainesville, please contact Jayna Mason at 352.378.5130.