Miss Hall’s School Volunteers Serve Others and Explore Medical Careers at VIM

Fifteen year-old Pearl is a sophomore at Miss Hall’s School, a private college preparatory boarding and day school for girls in Pittsfield.  She’s participating in Horizons, a signature program for off-campus experiential learning, by volunteering at VIM Berkshires. “I want to get experience in health care,” said Pearl.  “My goal is to study medicine and I hope that a career in optometry is in my future.”

Pearl, a native of Vietnam, was attracted to Miss Hall’s in part due to the Horizons program, which encourages students to volunteer and intern each week at local social service and cultural organizations, businesses, and professional offices.

Pearl spends every Thursday morning at VIM with one other classmate, primarily doing charting for the dental program and scanning records for the eye clinic.

“I’m happy to be able to provide administrative support,” said Pearl.  “I like to be busy and I value the contribution I’m making to the clinic, because I know it’s helping people.”

According to Horizons Program Director Alison Basdekis, all of Miss Halls’ students participate in Horizons. The mission of the program is to serve others, especially underserved populations.

“We have many students interested in health care,” said Ms. Basdekis, “During sophomore year, the girls look widely at the community to see where they can make a contribution.  During junior and senior years, they get more focused.  They’re not only providing service to vulnerable people, they’re learning about customer service and acquiring other skills for their future careers.”

Pearl is from Saigon and has already traveled widely.  She studied Chinese in Singapore and lived with a family in Oregon for six months while studying English.  She plans to stay in the area this summer to attend an academic program at Suffield Academy.

“I love the United States and I want to continue to study and eventually work here.”