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Local teen wins volunteer of the year award


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High school student Peter Woo is spending his time volunteering behind the information desk at the Amherst Medical Centre helping family members and friends find loved ones who are patients at the medical centre. Woo is this year's recipient of the Amherst Youth Volunteer Award for his work volunteering around the town of Amherst and at his high school.

On the path to trying to become a neurosurgeon, Peter Woo found himself gaining recognition as Amherst's youth volunteer of the year award winner. Woo said it was during a youth town council meeting he found out about his nomination.

"We were at the Amherst Youth Town Council meeting and they nominate someone every year," said Woo. "This is the third year that the council has been doing it. The council voted me on for the award this year."

Woo said in order for him to be considered for the nomination, there were some standards he had to meet.

"Volunteering would be one of the criteria," he said. "Another would be how you treat it, like your volunteer activities with respect, like when you smile and everything, that all fits in to."

Woo said he decided to take up volunteer work to help him reach his goal of one day becoming a neurosurgeon.

He said, by volunteering, he gets his face out there and his foot through the door to maybe one day work at the Amherst Medical Centre instead of volunteering there.

"I kind of wanted to volunteer in a hospital to help with my acceptance into universities and then it will help me get into the medical field as I have volunteer experience within the hospital and I have volunteer experience through the town too," he said. "I think the universities will consider me because I have volunteer experience, I have volunteer experience within the hospital and I want to become a neurosurgeon someday so it will all help me throughout the process."

Although Woo is thrilled by the nomination, he said more students should be volunteering. He said by volunteering, students gain important skills and get their faces out in the workforce, maybe in the field they wish to one day work in.

"It will help them with their career they want for their life," he said. "Like, if you want to be a veterinarian, you would try to volunteer at an animal shelter or something and it will progress in the animal medical field. You'll have more chances of becoming a veterinarian."

Woo volunteers on different committees at the high school. Later in the year, he will also be going to a leadership conference run by the students for the students and will help with fundraising for the schools.

Woo is volunteering at the Amherst Medical Centre, running the information desk. His duties include helping family members and friends find a loved one who may be staying at the hospital. Woo will be attending another dinner in June, just for the awards.

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