My name is Kathleen O’Donnell and I am currently a senior at Nazareth College. I’m a Biology/ Toxicology double major, and in the upcoming Fall I will be attending Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. I have been working as an AmeriCorps intern at Crossroads House over the past year.
AmeriCorps is a program, offered through the Corporation for National and Community Service, and it works to benefit the community and the lives of those within it. At Crossroads House, I volunteer for shifts with direct resident care. I also have utilized my background in science to conduct a research experiment aimed at benefiting Crossroads House.
In the role of direct resident care, I work alongside another volunteer, and together, we provide whatever care the residents may need within a 3-4 hour shift. Throughout the day, I may provide hygiene-related care, medication administration, meal preparation, assistance in locomotion and re-positioning, and I serve as a conversation partner to both the residents and their families.
I also have been working on a research project in coordination with Nazareth College to try to create a profile of the residents that Crossroads House has had over the years. I hope to use this profile to investigate the prevalence of different types of cancer in western New York and how this may correlate to different biological factors such as occupation, gender, and age. I am conducting this research in the hopes that Crossroads House might be able to use this data when applying for grants. Also, because I am working in coordination with Nazareth College, I have been able to raise awareness of Crossroads House to Nazareth College students, and it is now an available option for Nazareth College students to intern at.I have had the most amazing time at Crossroads House. Upon entering Crossroads House, you can feel and see that it is something special. The staff and volunteers that work there are the most amazing people I have ever met. They are full of knowledge and exude compassion. Crossroads really is a home, and anyone who comes through the door becomes part of the family instantaneously. I am so happy to be a part of this family, and to have met the people that I have through this experience.