King’s PA Students Dedicated to Helping the Community
The Physician’s Assistant (PA) program at King’s College is almost like an entirely different world. In a different building two blocks away with white lab coats, no spare time, yet the members of the program still share the same ideals as the rest of King’s College, including the importance of serving others. The PA class of 2016 at King’s has completed extensive service to the community, on both a local and national level, throughout this past academic year.
Members of the program have completed 10 projects just in this last year, including raising awareness for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and fundraising in order to support the Four Diamonds Fund, which raises money for pediatric cancer.
In order to raise awareness for MS, the class wore orange ribbons throughout March and hung posters so people could see them. The goal was to show those suffering that they are not alone, and support is always there.
Another project they worked on was supporting a 5-year-old boy named Seth Lane who suffers from SCID, meaning he was born without an immune system. What they did was simply wear yellow and capture a group photo. They did this because Seth asked the world to wear yellow for him on March 27. The class posted the picture on Seth’s Instagram—a social media network—in order to show their love and support.
The class also raised money for the Four Diamonds Fund prior to the KC Mini-THON, a night long dance party that raises money and awareness for pediatric cancer. They raised the money to support a dancer who had to raise the money in order to participate.
Other service projects the PA Program Class of 2016 completed were raising money during Breast Cancer Awareness Week, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, participation in the health fair, Toys for Tots, raising money for an alumni diagnosed with breast cancer and more.
Jaclyn Beck is the President of the 2016 Lester Saidman Society, which is the Graduate Physician’s Assistant’s Club. She, as well as the rest of the class, has partaken in the service. She said that sometimes the little things really mean a lot, even if it is as simple as wearing a certain colored shirt on a certain day. It all counts.
Beck said raising money for pediatric cancer, which was one of the PA program’s main events this year, was a no-brainer.
“When you mention pediatric cancer in a room full of PA students and then ask for donations, not much more needs to be said,” Beck said. “After having a pediatrics class last semester, we all understand the toll a sick child can have on a family, so supporting a 5th year to dance at THON and knowing the money was going to the Four Diamonds Fund was all that really needed to be said.”
Now, PA students are notoriously busy with all the work they have, but that does not even come close to stopping any of the students from helping others.
“The overall well being of others includes psychological and mental health, and as a class we recognize the importance of meeting those needs in people who are going through difficult times,” Beck said.
Even though the students are cramming constantly they still find the time, because if they were to get too caught up with exams and not do any service, the whole point of being a PA would be void. Each one of those students chose the PA Program because they want to help people, and participating in these service projects allows them to do just that.