Though some students attend college with the goal of getting their degree and getting out, others try to get as much out of the experience as possible.
Ferris Honors student Aaron Zebolsky is someone who’s involved in more than just his classes and social life.
Zebolsky, 19, of Marshall is a sophomore pre-medicine major. His extracurricular activities consist of volunteering in hospice of Spectrum Health in Big Rapids, the Plan to Achieve Collegiate Excellence (PACE) coordinator for the National Society of Colligate Scholars (NSCS), and a member of the FSUbuntu organization.
To become involved with the Spectrum Health hospice program, Zebolsky contacted the volunteer coordinator, completed the training, and now receives emails and updates when they have new patients available.
However, this opportunity was not about another line on his résumé for medical school. Zebolsky knew he would enjoy helping others through working with patients in a hospice type environment.
Zebolsky goes into the hospice center every week for about an hour to see his patients. He described one of the patients as a loving old woman who would tell him stories about her youth. She was a sweet little person who really appreciated him coming in to see her every week, Zebolsky said.
Zebolsky’s other volunteer work, PACE, is an initiative program for middle school aged students that helps inspire students to recognize and work toward the positives of post-secondary education.
As the PACE coordinator for NSCS, Zebolsky works with students at Big Rapids Middle School during their lunch period. According to Zebolsky, it’s mostly fun and games, but PACE volunteers also help the students with their homework, study for classes, and try to get them thinking about college. Zebolsky has started up this piece of NSCS and currently has about 20 Ferris students volunteering at Big Rapids Middle School.
“I think the biggest thing that helped me from Honors is getting involved with RSOs,” said Zebolsky. “The 15 hours is a good base line target, but you get a better experience when you volunteer consistently with an RSO.”
Zebolsky learned valuable communication skills by having to speak with the guidance counselor from Big Rapids Middle School and also by speaking with his hospice patients.
He also loves the sense of community volunteering gives him.
“I’ve always enjoyed being an integral part of a community in a beneficial way,” he said.
Zebolsky tries to live by favorite quote by actor Will Smith: “I want the world to be a better place because I was here.”
This article was written by Erin Moore, an Honors sophomore in public relations.