By Marcia Porter
School of Nursing student Elbonita Kozhani earned a hat trick recently when she picked up three awards for levels completed through the Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP).
The VIP is run through the Student Volunteer Bureau and recognizes students for the volunteer work they perform, and the personal/professional development seminars they attend.
Ms. Kozhani is a busy volunteer on campus, working on student orientation events, I Love MUNdays, as a Memorial mentor with International Student Advising, and as a Memorial ambassador for special events on and off campus. She also serves on various committees such as residence council, and MUNSU.
She earned three awards during the Student Volunteer Bureau's annual VIP evening – a bronze for completing 20 hours of volunteer work, silver for completing 40 hours, and a gold for completing 80 hours. The awards also require students to complete a specific number of professional and personal development seminars, and write about their volunteer experiences.
"I was lucky enough to receive all levels," said Ms. Kozhani, "Now I'm working towards my platinum level, so that I am able to mentor and provide information sessions to other students."
During her first couple of years on campus, Ms. Kozhani kept mostly to herself, concentrating on her academic and clinical studies. "I was very studious for my first two and a half years," she said. "Then one day someone asked me, 'Do you volunteer?' I told them that I didn't have time and then I realized I was tired of using this excuse."
So she signed up as a volunteer with the Student Volunteer Bureau, and it's made all the difference; getting involved has given her the change to meet many new people.
"After that I was one fire. I have not stopped and I would not have it any other way," said Ms. Kozhani who monitors her emails closely so that she doesn't miss out on volunteer opportunities.
And all this volunteering has helped her feel more connected to the university community, so now she jokes that she's a full-time nursing student and part-time MUN recruiter.
Ms. Kozhani isn't the only nursing student to earn recognition through the VIP this year. Kyla St. Croix, a student with the Centre for Nursing Studies, also earned recognition for her volunteer work as part of the program. Congratulations nursing students!